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Full text of "Proofs of a conspiracy against all the religions and governments of Europe, carried on in the secret meetings of Free masons, Illuminati and reading societies, collected from good authorities"

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Theological Seminary, 


Cane, L^^^C^S-i-w?'.... 

Shelf. fOj^ 

Book, } 







E U Pv O P E, 



O F 






NdTfi ilea res agiiur paries cu7n- proxiiniis ardct, 




Printed by Gcoreo I'orman, No. 64, for Coir.elius^Davis, 

bL-okrai r, Nc. 94, 




SECRETARY AT WAR, &c. &c. Sec. 


IT was with great fatisfaHion that I learned from a 
"friend that you coincided with rat in the opinion^ that 
the information contained in this performance would make 
a ufeful impreffion on the minds of my Countrymen^ 

I*have prefumed to infcrihe it with your Name,, that I 
may publicly exprefs the pleafure which I ftlt^ when I 
found that neither a feparation for thirty ycars^ nor the 
prefjitre of the moji important hfnefs, had eff'aced your 
kind remembrance of a College Acquaintance^ or abated 
that obliging and polite attention with which you favored 
me in thofe early days of life. 

The friendfJiip of the accompliJJied and the worthy is 
the highejl honor ; and to him who is cut off, by want of 
health, from almofl every other enjoyment, it is an inejlz- 
mable bleffing. Accept, therefore, I pray, of r,:y grate- 
ful acknowledgements, and of my earneft wiflies for your 
Health, Profperity, and increafing Honor. 

With fentiments of the greatefi Efteem and Refpeci^ 
I am, 


Your-mnfi obedient, 

and mofl humble Servant, 

Edinburgh, 1 
September ^i 1 797* J * 

OUODfi quis vera vitam rationc guhernet^ 
J) n)ttio3 gr ancles homini funt, vtvere parcc 
jEquo ammo : neque cnim ejl unquam penuria parv:^ 
At clarosfe homines voluerunt atque poientcs, 
ULjundamento jlahili fortuna 7nantret^ 
Et placidam pojjent opiiknti degere vitam : 
Neauicquam. — quoniam ad fummum Jucccdcrc honor en 
Ceriantes, iter infe/iumfecSre viai, 
£t tamen efimmo quafi fahnen dejicit iBos 
Jnvidia inter dum .contejnptim in Tartara tttra, 


Ergo^ Regibus occifr:, fuhvcrfa jacehat 
Prijiina majefias Joliorim, etjceptra fupcrha ; 
Et capitis Jummi prceclarum mfigne, crueniim. 
Sub pedibus volgi magnuvi higebat hon'orem : 
Nam cupide conculcatur nimis ante metii{u7n. 
Res itaqe adfitmmamfa^cem, turbajque redibai, 
Jmpcrmmfibi cum acfummatum qidjque pcicbat. 

Lucretius, V. li53< 



E I N G at a friend's houfe in the country during 
fome part of the fumraer 1795, I there faw a volume of 
a German periodical work, called Religions Begeben- 
heiten, i. e. Religious Occurrences ; in which there was 
an account of the various fchifms in the Fraternity of 
Free Mafons, with frequent allufions to the origin and 
hiftory of that celebrated affociation. This account in- 
terefted me a good deal, becaufe, in my early life, I had 
taken fome part in the occupations (ihall I call them} of 
Free Mafonry ; and having chiefly frequented the Lodg- 
es on the Continent, I had learned many do6lrines, and 
feen many ceremonials, which have no place in the Am- 
ple fyftem of Free Mafonry which obtains in this coun- 
try. I had alfo remarked, that the whole was much 
more the objeft of reflexion and thought than I could 
remember it to have been among my acquaintances at 
home. There, I had feen a Mafon Lodge confidered 
merely as a pretext for paffing an hour or two in a fort 
of decent conviviality, not altogether void of fome ra- 
tional occupation. I had fometimes heard of differen- 
ces of do6trines or of ceremonies, but in terms which 
marked them as mere frivolities. But, on the Conti- 

8 I N T R O D U C T I O N. 

ncnt. I found them matters of ferious concern and de- 
bate. Such too is the contagion of example, that I 
could not hinder myfelf from thinking one opinion bet- 
ter founded J or one Ritual more appoiite and fignificant, 
than another ; and I even felt fomethiiig like an anxiety 
for its being adopted, and a zeal for making it a general 
pra61ice. I had been initiated in a very fplendid Lodge 
^t Liege, of which the Prince Biihop, his Trcfonciers, 
and the chief Noble (Te of the State, were members. I 
vifited the French Lodges at Valenciennes, at BrulTels, 
£t Aix-la-Chapelle, at Berlin, and Koningfberg ; and I 
picked up fome printed difcourfes delivered by the Bro- 
ther-orators of the Lodijes. At St. Peterfour^h I con- 
nccled myfelf with the Englifli Lodge, and occafionallv 
vifitcd the German and Ruffian Lodges held there. I 
found myfelf received with particular refpeft as a Scotch 
Mafon, and as an Eleve of the Lodge de la Parjaite In- 
iflligcnce at Liege. I v/as importuned by perfons of the 
f rft rank to puFfue my mafonic career through many 
deforces this country. But all the fplendour 
and elegance that I fav/ could not conceal a frivolity in 
every part. It appeared a bafeiefs fabric, and I could 
not think of engaging in an occupation which would 
confurae much time, coft me a good deal of money 
and might perhaps exciie in me fome of that fanaticilm, 
or, at Icaft, enthufiafm that I law in others, and per- 
ceived to be void of any rational fupport. I therefore 
remained in the Enoiidi Lodge, contented' with the rank 
of Scotch MaRer, w'hich wts in a manner forced on me 
in a private Lodge of French Mafons, but- is not givent 
in the Englifli Lodge. My mafonic rank admitted me 
to a very elegant entertainment iti the female Logc de la 
F/ delete, where every ceremonial was compofed in the 
higheft degree of elegance, and e\ciy thing conduced 
with the molt delicate rcfpccl for our fair fillers, and 


the old fong of brotherly love was chanted in the moft 
refined ftrain of fentiment. I do not fuppofe that the 
Parifian Free Malbnry of degrees could give 
me more entertainment. I had profited fo much by it, 
that I had the honor of being appointed the Brother- 
orator. In this office I gave fuch fatisfa6lion, that a 
worthy Brother fent me at midnight a box, which he 
committed to my care, as a perfon far advanced in ma- 
fonic fcience, zealoufly attached to the order, and 
therefore a fit depofitary of important writings. I learn- 
ed next day that this gentleman had found it convenient 
to leave the empire in a hurry, but taking with him the 
funds of an eftablifhment of which her Imperial Majefly 
had made him the manager. I was defired to keep thefe 
writings till he fliould fee me again. I obeyed. About 
ten years afterward I faw the gentleman on the ftreet in 
Edinburgh, converfing with a foreigner. As I palled 
by him, I faluted him foftly in the Ruffian language ; 
but without flopping, or even looking him in the face. 
He coloured, but made no return. I endeavoured in 
vain to meet with him, intending to make a proper re- 
turn for much civility and kindnefs which I had received 
from him in his own country. 

I now conlidered the box as acceffible to myfelf, and 
opened it. I found it to contain all the degrees of the 
Far/ait Magon Ecoffbis, with the Rituals, Catechifms, 
and Inftrudions, and alfo four other degrees of Free 
Mafonry, as cultivated in the Parifian Lodges. I have 
kept them with all care, and mean to give them to ibme 
refpeftable Lodge. But as I am bound by no engage- 
ment of any kind, I hold myfelf as at liberty to make 
fuch ufe of them as may be ferviceable to the public, 
without enabling any uninitiated perfon to enter the 
Lodges of thefe degrees. B 


This acqiiifition might have roufed my former teViik 
for Mafonry, had it been merely dormant ; but, after 
fo long feparation from the Logc de ki Fidelite, the ma- 
fonic fpirit had evaporated. Some curiofity , however, re- 
mained, and fome wifh to trace this plaftic myftery to the 
pit from which the clay had been dug, which has been 
moulded into fo many different fliapes, " fome to ho- 
nor, and fome to difhonor." But my opportunities 
were now gone. I had given away (when in Ruffia) 
my volumes of difcourfes, and fom.e far-fetched and 
gratuitous hiftories, and nothing remained but the piti- 
ful work of Anderfon, and the Ma^onnerie Adonhira- 
Tiiique devoilee, which are in every one's hands. 

My curiofity was flrongly roufed by the accounts 
given in the Religions Begebenheiten. There I faw 
quotations without number; fyflems and fchifms of 
which I had never heard ; but what particularly flruck 
me, was a zeal and fanaticifm about w^hat I thought tri- 
fles, which afloniflied me. Men of rank and fortune, 
and engaged, in ferious and honorable public employ- 
ments, not only frequenting the Lodges of the cities 
where they refided, but journeying from one end of 
Germany or France to the other, to vifit new Lodges, 
or to learn new fecrets or new do8^rines. I faw con- 
ventions held at Wifmar, at Wifbad, at Kohlo, at 
Brunfwick, and at Willemfbad, confifting of fome hun- 
dreds of perfons of refpeftable ftations. I faw adven- 
turers coming to a city, profeffmg fome new fecret, and 
in a few days forming new Lodges, and inftrufting in a 
troublefome and expenfive manner hundreds of brethren. 

German Mafonry appeared a very ferious concern, 
and to be implicated with other fubje6ls with which 1 
had never fufpefted it to have any connexion. I faw 


it much conncfted with many occurrences and fchifms 
in the Chriltian church ; I faw that the Jefuits had fe- 
veral times interfered in it ; and that mod of the excep- 
tionable innovations and difTentions had arifen about the 
time that the order of Loyola was fupprefled ; fo that it 
fhould feem, that thefe intriguing brethren had attempt- 
ed to mahitain their influence by the help of Free Ala- 
fonry. I faw it much difturbed by the myuical whims 
of J. Behmen and Swedenborg — by the fanatical and 
knavifli do6lrines of the modern Rofy crucians — by Ma- 
gicians — Magnetifers — Exorcills, &:c. And I obferv- 
ed that thefe different feels reprobated each other, as 
not only maintaining erroneous opinions, but even in- 
cukating opinions which were contrary to the eftablifn- 
ed religions of Germany, and contrary to the principles 
of the civil ellablifhments. At the fame time they 
charged each other with miftakes and corruptions, both 
in do6lrine and in praftice; and particularly with falfi- 
fication of the firil principles of Free Mafonry, and with 
ignorance of its origin and its hillory ; and they fup- 
ported thefe charges by authorities from many different 
books which were unknown to me. 

My curiofity w-as now greatly excited. I got from a 
much-refpetted friend many of the preceding volumes 
of the Religions Begebenheitm, in hopes of much infor- 
mation from the patient indultry of German erudition. 
This opened a new and very interefting fcene ; I was 
frequently fentback to England, from whence all agreed 
that Free Mafonry had been imported into Germany. 
I v/as frequently led into France and into Italy. There, 
and more remarkably in France, I found that the Lodges 
had become the haunts of many projeftors and fanatics, 
both in fcience, in religion, and in politics, who had 
availed themfelvcs of the fecrecy and the freedom of 


fpeech maintained in thefe meetings, to broacli their par^ 
ticular whims, or fufpicious doftrines, which, if piiblifh- 
ed to the world in the ufual manner, would have expofed 
the authors to ridicule, or to cenfure. Thefe projec- 
tors had contrived to tag their peculiar noftrums to the 
mummery of Mafonry, and were even allowed to twift 
the mafonic emblems and ceremonies to their purpofe ; 
fo that in their hands Free Mafonry became a thing to- 
tally unlike, and almoft in direB: oppofition to the fyf- 
tem (if it may get fuch a name) imported from England ; 
and feme Lodges had become fchools of irreligion and 

No nation in modern times has fo particularly turned 
its attention to the cultivation of every thing that is re- 
fined or ornamental as France, and it has long been the 
refort of all who hunt after entertainment in its moft re- 
fined form ; the French have come to confider thcm- 
felves as the inftrudors of the world in every thing that 
ornaments life, and feeling themfelves received as fuch, 
they have formed their manners accordingly — full of 
the moft condefcending complaifance to all who acknow- 
ledge their fuperiority. Delighted, in a high degree, with 
.this office, they have become zealous miffionaries of re- 
finement in every department of human purfuit, and have 
reduced their apoftolic employment to a fyftem, which 
they profecute with ardour and delight. This is not 
groundlefs declamation, but fober hiftorical truth. It 
was the profeffed aim (and it was a magnificent and wife 
aim) of the great Colbert, to make the court of Louis 
^^IV. the fountain of human refinement, and Paris the 
Athens of Europe. We need only look at the plunder 
of Italy by the French array, to be convinced that their 
low-born generals and ftatefmen have in this refpcft the 
fame notions with the Colberts and the Richlieus. 


"FkTiow no fubje6: in which this aim at uiiiveiTal in-» 
fluence on the opinions of men, by holding themfelves 
forth as the models of excellence and elegance, is more 
clearly feen than in the care that they have been pieafed 
10 take of Free. Mafonry. It feems indeed peculiarly 
fuited to the talents and tafte of that vain and ardent peo- 
ple. Bafelefs and frivolous, it admits of every form 
thiat Gallic refinement can invent, to recommend it to 
the young, the gay, the luxurious; that clafs of, fociety 
which alone deferves their care, becaufe, in one way or 
another, it leads all other clafles of fociety. 

It has accordingly happened, that the homely Free 
Mafonry imported from England has been totally chang- 
ed in every country of Europe, either by the impofmg 
afcendancy of French brethren, who are to be found 
every where, ready to inftruft the world ; or by the im- 
portation of the doftrines, and ceremonies, and orna- 
ments of the Parifian Lodges. Even England, the 
birth-place of Mafonry, has experienced the French in- 
novations; and all the repeated injunftions, admoniti- 
ons, and reproofs of the old Lodges, cannot prevent 
thofe in different parts of the kingdom frora admitting 
the French novelties, full of tinfel and glitter, and high- 
founding titles. 

Were this all, the harm would not be great. But 
long before good opportunities had occurred for fpread- 
ing the refinements on the iimple Free Mafonrj/ of Eng- 
land, the Lodges in France had become places of very 
ferious difcuffion, where opinions in morals, in religion, 
gnd in politics, had been promulgated and maintained 
with a freedom and a keennefs, of which we in this fa- 
vored land have no adequate notion, becaufe we are 
unacquainted with the refiraints, which, in other coun- 


tiies, are laid on ordinary converfation. In confe- 
quence of this, the French innovations in Free Mafonry 
were quickly followed in all parts of Europe, by the 
admiffion of fimilar difcuffions, although in direft oppo- 
fition to a (landing rule, and a declaration made to eve- 
ry newly received Brother, " that nothing touching the 
religion or government fhall ever be fpoken of in the 
Lodge." But the Lodges in other countries followed 
the example of France, and have frequently become the 
rendezvous of innovators in religion and politics, and 
other difturbers of the public peace. In Ihort, I have 
found that the covert of a Mafon Lodge had been em- 
ployed in every country for venting and propagating 
fentiments in religion and politics, that could not have 
circulated in public without expofing the author to great 
danger. I found, that this impunity had gradually en- 
couraged men of licentious principles to become more 
bold, and to teach doftrines fubverfive of all our notions 
of morality — of all our confidence in the moral govern- 
ment of the univerfe — of all our hopes of improvement 
in a future ftate of exiftence — and of all fatisfaftion and 
contentment with our prefent life, fo long aj we live in 
a ftate of civil fubordination. I have been able to trace 
tliefe attempts, made, through a courfe of fifty years, 
under the fpecious pretext of enlightening the v/orld by 
the torch of philofophy, and of difpelling the clouds of 
civil and religious fuperftition which keep the nations of 
Europe in darknefs and flavery. I have obferved thefe 
do9:rines gradually diffafing and mixing with all the dif- 
ferent fyftems of Free Mafonry; till, at laft, an As- 
sociation HAS BEEN FORMED for the cxprcfs pur- 

ISTING GOVERNMENTS OF Europe. I have feen 
this Aflbciation exerting itfelf zealoufly and fyltemati- 


cally, till it has become almoft irrefiftible : And I have 
ieen that the moft aftive leaders in the French Revolu- 
tion were members of this Aflbciation, and conduced 
their firft movements according to its principles, and by 
means of its inftruQions and affiftance, formally requejl- 
ed and obtained : And, lailly, I have feen that this Af- 
fociation ftill exifts, ftill works in fecret, and that not 
only feveral appearances among ourfelves Ihow that its 
emilTaries are endeavouring to propagate their deteftable 
doftrines among us, but that the Aflbciation has Lodges 
in Britain correfponding with the mother Lodge at Mu- 
nich ever fmce 1784. 

If all this were a matter of mere curiofity, and fuf- 
ceptible of no good ufe, it would have been better to 
have kept it to myfelf, than to difturb my neighbours 
with the knowledge of a ftate of things which they can- 
not amend. But if it fliall appear that the minds of my 
countrymen are mifled in the very fame manner as 
were thofe of our continental neighbours — if I cm\ fliow 
that the reafonings which make a very ftrong imprefiion 
on fome perfons in this country are the fame which ac- 
tually produced the dangerous aflbciation in Germany ; 
and that they had this unhappy influence folely becaufe 
they were thought to be fmcere, and the expreffions of 
the fentiments of the fpeakers — if I can fhow that this 
was all a cheat, and that the Leaders of this Aflbciation 
difbelieved every word that they uttered, and every doc- 
trine that they taught ; and that their real intention was 
to abolifli all religion, overturn every government, and 
make the world a general plunder and a wreck — if I can 
fhow, that the principles which the Founder and Lead- 
ers of this Aflbciation held forth as the perfeftion of hu- 
man virtue, and the mofl: powerful and efficacious for 
forming the minds of men, and making them good and 

46 I N T R O D U C T I O N. 

happy, had no influence on the Founder and Leaders 
themrelves, and that they were, almoft without excep- 
tion, the moft in{%nifi''cant, worthlefs, and profligate of 
men; I cannot but think, that fuch information will 
make my countrymen hefitate a little, and receive with 
caution, and even diflruft, addreffes and inftruftions 
which flatter our felf-conceit, and which, by buoying 
tis up with the gay profpeQ of what is perhaps attainable 
by a change, may make us difcontented with our pre- 
fent condition, and forget that there never was a go- 
vernment on earth where the people of a great and lux- 
urious nation enjoyed fo much freedom and fecurity 
in the polfefTion of every thing that is dear and valu- 

When we fee that thefe boafled principles had not 
that effeft on the leaders which they afiert to be their na- 
tive, certain, and inevitable confequences, we will dif- 
truft the fine defcriptions of the happinefs that fhould 
refult^from fuch a change. And when we fee that the 
methods which were pra6lifed by this Affociation for 
the exprefs purpofe of breaking all the bands of fociety, 
Were employed folely in order that the leaders might 
rule the world with uncontroulable power, while all the 
reft, even of the alfociated, will be degraded in their own 
eflimation, corrupted in their principles, and employed 
as mere tools of the ambition oi ihtu unknown fup triors ; 
furely a free-born Briton will not hefitate to rejeft at 
once, and without any farther examination, a plan fo big 
with mifchief, fo difgraceful to its underling adherents, 
and fo uncertain in its iffue. 

Thefe hopes have induced me to lay before the pub- 
lic a fhort abftratl: of the information which I think I 
have received. It will be Ihort, but I hope fufficient 


for eftablifhing the fa6l, that this deteflahle AJfociation ex- 
ijls, and its emijfaries are bufy among ourf elves. 

1 was not contented with the quotations which I found 
in the Religions Begebenheiten, but procured from abroad 
fome of the chief writings from which they are taken. 
This both gave me confidence in the quotations from 
books which I could not procure, and furniflied me with 
more materials. Much, however, remains untold, richly 
deferving the attention of all thofe who feel themfelves 
difpofed to liften to the tales of a pofTible happinefs that 
may be enjoyed in a fociety where all the magiftrates are 
wife and juft, and all the people are honeft and kind. 

I hope that I am honeft and candid. I have been at 
all pains to give the true fenfe of the authors. My 
knowledge of the German language is but fcanty, but I 
have had the afliftance of friends whenever I was in 
doubt. In compreffmg into one paragraph what I have 
colle6led from many, I have, as much as I was able, 
iluck to the words of the author, and have been anxious 
to give his precife meaning. I doubt not but that I 
have fometimes failed, and will receive correction with 
deference. I entreat the reader not to expeft a piece 
of good literary compofition. I am very fenfible that 
it is far from it — it is written during bad health, when I 
am not at eafe — and I wifhed to conceal my name — but 
my motive is, without the fmalleft mixture of another, 
to do fome good in the only way I am able, and I think 
that what I fay will come with better grace, and be re- 
ceived with more confidence, than any anonymous pub- 
lication. Of thefe I am now moft heartily fick. I throw 
myfelf on my country with a free heart, and I bow with 
deference to its decifion. 


i8 I N T R O D U G T I O N. 

The AfTociation of which I have been {peaking, is the 
Order of Illumin ati, founded in 1775, by Dr. Adam 
Weifhaupt, profeflbr of Canon law in die univerfitv of 
Ingolltadt, andabolifhed in 1786 by die Elector of Ba- 
varia, but revived immediately after, under another 
name, and in a different form, all over Germany. It 
-^as again dete6led, and feemingly broken up; but it 
had by this time taken fo deep root that it ftill fublifts 
without being detefted, and has fpread into all the coun- 
tries of Europe. It took its firft rife among the Free 
Mafons, but is totally different from Free Mafonry. It 
was not, however, the mere protedion gained by the fe- 
crecy of the Lodges that gave occaiion to it, but it arofe 
naturally from the corruptions that had gradually crept 
into that fraternity, the violence of the party -fpirit which 
pervaded it, and from the total uncertainty and dark- 
nefs that hangs over the whole of that my fterious Affoci- 
;ation. It is neceffary, therefore, to give fome account 
-of the innovations that have been introduced into Free 
Mafonry from the time that it made its appearance on 
the continent of Europe as a myftical Society, poffef- 
fing fecrets different from thofe of the mechanical em- 
|}lQyraent who'fe name it affumed, and thus affording en- 
tertainment and occupation to perfons of all ranks and 
profeffions. It is by no means intended to give'a hiftory 
of Free Mafonry. This would lead to a very long dif- 
cuffion. The patient indullry of German erudition has 
been very ferioufly employed on this fubjeft, and many 
performances have been publiflied, of v/hich fome ac- 
count is given in the different volumes of the Religions 
Begebenhciten, particularly in thofe for 1779, 1785, and 
1.786. It is evident, from the nature of the thing, that 
ihey cannot be very inftruBive to the public ; becaufe 
the obligation of fecrecy refpeCling the important mat- 
ters which are the very fubjeBs of debate, prevents the 


author from giving that full information that is required 
from an hiRorian ; and the writers have not, in general, 
been perfons qualified for the talk. Scanty erudition, 
credulity, and enthuliafm, appear in almoft all their 
writings ; and they have neither attempted to remove the 
heap of rubbifh with which Anderfon has difgraced his 
Corjlltutions of Free Mafonry (the bafis of mafonic hif- 
tory) nor to avail themfeives of informations which hif- 
tory really affords to a fober enquirer. Their Royal 
art mud never forfooth appear in a ftate of infancy or 
childhood, like all other human acquirements ; and 
therefore, when they cannot give proofs of its exiftence 
in a ftate of manhood, poflefled of all its myfterious 
treafures, they fuppofe what they do not fee, and fay 
that they are concealed by the oadi of fecrecy. Of fuch 
inftru6tion I can make no ufe, even if I were difpofed to 
write a hiftory of the Fraternity. I fhali content myfelf 
with an account of fuch particulars as are admitted by 
all the mafonic parties, and which illuftrate or confirm 
my general propofition, making fuch ufe of the accounts 
of the higher degrees in my pofleffion as I can, without 
admitting the profane into their Lodges. Being under 
no tie of fecrecy with regard to thefc, I am with-held 
by difcretion alone from pu.tting the public in poiTelBon 
of all their niyfteries. 


O F 


^'t^ 'i I ~ 


Schifms in Free Mafonry. 

A HERE is undoubtedly a dignity in the art of build- 
ing, or in archite6hire, which no other art poflefles, and 
this, "whether we confider it in its rudeft flate, occupied 
in raifing a hut, or as praftifed in a cultivated nation, 
in the ereftion of a magnificent and ornamented temple. 
As the arts in general improve in any nation, this jnuft 
always maintain its pre-eminence ; for it employs them 
all, and no man can be eminent as an architeB; who does 
■not poffefs a confiderable knowledge of almoft every 
fcience and art already cultivated in his nation. His 
great works are undertakings of the mod ferious con- 
cern, conne6l him with the public, or with the rulers of 
the flate, and attach to him the pra6litioners of other 
artSj who are wholly occupied in executing his orders : 


His works are the objefts of public attention, and are 
not the tranfient fpeftacles of the day, but hand down 
to pofterity his invention, his knowledge, and his tatte. 
No wonder then that he thinks highly of his profeffion, 
and that the public fhould acquiefce in his pretenfions, 
even when in fome degree extravagant. 

It is not at all furprifing, therefore, that the incor- 
porated architefts in all cultivated nations fhould arro- 
gate to themfelves a pre-eminence over the fimilar affo- 
ciations of other tradefmen. We find traces of this iw 
the remoteft antiquity. The Dionyfiacs of Alia Minor 
were undoubtedly an affociation of architefts and engi- 
neers, who had the exclufive privilege of building tem- 
ples, ftadia, and theatres, under the myfterious tutelage 
of Bacchus, and diftinguillied from the uninitiated or 
profane inhabitants by the fcience which they poffeiTed, 
and by many private figns and tokens, by which they 
recognized each other. This aflbciation came into 
Ionia from Syria, into which country it had come from 
Perfia, along with that flyle of architefture that we call 
Grecian. We are alfo certain that there was a fimilar 
trading affociation, during the dark ages, in Chriftian 
Europe, which monopolized the building of great 
churches and caftles, working under the patronage and 
prote£lion of the Sovereigns and Princes of Europe, 
and poffeding many privileges. Circumftances, which 
it would be tedious to enumerate and difcufs, continu- 
ed this affociation later in Britain than on the Confi- 

But it is quite uncertain when and why perfons who 
were not builders by profeffion firfl: fought adrhiflion 
into this Fraternity. The firfl: diflin£l and unequivocal 
inflance that we have of this is the admiifioti of Mr. Afh- 


inole, the famous antiquary, in 1648, into a Lodge at 
Warrington, along with his father-in-law Colonel Main- 
waring. It is not improbable that the covert of fecrecy 
in thofe affemblies had made them courted by the Roy- 
alifts, as occafions of meeting. Nay, the Ritual of the 
Mailer's degree feems to have been formed, or perhaps 
twilled from its original inllitution, fo as to give an op- 
portunity of founding the political principles of the 
candidate, and of the whole Brethren prefent. For it 
bears fo eafy an adaptation to the death of the King, 
to the overturning of the venerable conllitution of the 
Englifh government of three orders by a mean demo- 
cracy, and its re-eflablifliment by the efforts of the loy- 
alifts, that this would ftart into every perfon's mind 
during the ceremonial, and could hardly fail to fhow, by 
the countenances and behaviour of the Brethren, how 
they were affefted. I recommend this hint to the con- 
fideration of the Brethren. I have met with many par- 
ticular fafts, which convince me that this ufe had been 
made of the meetings of Mafons, and that at this time 
the Jefuits interfered confiderably, infmuating them- 
felves into the Lodges, and contributing to encreafe that 
religious myfticifm that is to be obferved in all the cere- 
monies of the order. This fociety is well known to 
have put on every fliape, and to have made ufe of every 
mean that could promote the power and influence of the 
order. And we know that at this time they were by no 
means without hopes of re-ellablifliing the dominion qf 
the Church of Rome in England. Their fervices v/ere 
not fcrupled at by the diftrelfed Royalifts, even fucli as 
were Proteilants, while they were highly prized by the 
Sovereign. We alfo know that Charles IL was made a 
Mafon, and frequented the Lodges. It is not unlikely, 
that befides the amufement of a vacant hour, which was 
. always agreeable to him, he had pleafure in the meeting 


with his loyal friends, and in the occupations of the 
Lodge, which recalled to his mind their attachment and 
fervices. His brother and fucceflbr James II. was of a 
more ferious and manly call of mind, and had little plea- 
fure in the frivolous ceremonies of Mafonry. He did 
not frequent the Lodges. But, by this time, they were 
the refort of many perfons who were not of the profef- 
fion, or members of the trading corporation. This 
circumflance, in all probability, produced the denomi* 
nations of F'ree and Accepted Mafons. A perfon 
who has the privilege of working at any incorporated 
trade, is faid to be ^Jrttman of that trade. Others were 
accepted as Brethren, and admitted to a kind of honora-^ 
ry freedom, as is the cafe in many other trades and in^ 
corporations, withjout having (as far as we can learn for 
certain) a legal title to earrj a livelihood by the exercife 
of it. 

The Lodges being in this manner frequented by per- 
fons of various profeffions, and in various ranks of civil 
fociety, it cannot be fuppofed that the employment in 
thofe meetings related entirely to the oltenfible prcfef- 
iion of Mafonry. We have no authentic information 
by which the public can form any opinion about it. It 
was not till fome years after this period that the Lodges 
made open profeffion of the cultivation of general bene- 
volence, and that the grand aim of the Fraternity was to 
enforce the exercife of all the focial virtues. It is not 
unlikely that this was an after thought. The political 
purpofes of the aifociation being once obtained, the 
converfation and occupations of the members muft take 
fome particular turn, in order to be generally accepta- 
ble. The eftablilhmcnt of a fund for the relief of un- 
fortunate Brethren did not take place till the very end of 
laft century ; and we may that it was brought 


about bv the warm recommendations of fome benevo- 
lent members, who would naturally enforce it by ad- 
dreffes to their alfembled Brethren. This is the pro- 
bable origin of thofe philanthropic difcourfes which 
w^ere delivered in the Lodges by one of the Brethren as 
an official tafk. Brotherly love was the general topic, 
and this, with great propriety, when we confider the ob- 
jeB: aimed at in thofe addrefies. Nor was this obje6l 
altogether a novelty. For while the manners of fociety 
were yet but rude, Brother Mafons, who were frequent- 
ly led by their employment far from home and from 
their friends, ftood in need of fuch helps, and might be 
greatly benefited by fuch an inftitution, which gave them 
introdu8:ion and citizenfliip wherever they went, and a 
right to fhare in the charitable contributions of Brethren t 
who were ftrangers to them. Other incorporated trades 
had fimilar provifions for their poor. But their poor 
were townfmen and neighbours, well known to them. 
There was more perfuafion neceffary in this Fraternity, 
where the objefts" of our immediate beneficence were 
not of our acquaintance. But when the Lodges con- 
fided of many who were not Mafons, and who had no 
particular claim to good offices from a ftranger, and 
their number might be great, it is evident that ftronger 
perfuaf.ons were now neceffary, and that every topic of 
philanthropy muft now be employed. When the funds 
became coafiderable, the elfeds naturally took the 
public eye, and recommended the Society to notice and 
refpeft. And now the Brethren were induced to dwell 
on the fame topic, to join in the commendations be- 
ftowed on the Society, and to fay that univerfal bene- 
ficence was the great aim of the Order. And this is all 
that could be faid in public, widiout infringing the obli- 
gation to fecrecy. The inquifitive are slways prving 



And teazing, and this is the only point on which a Bro- 
ther is at liberty to fpeak. He will therefore do it with 
affe6lionate zeal, till perhaps he has heated his own fan- 
cy a little, and overlooks the inconfiftency of this uni- 
verfal beneficence and philanthropy with the exclufive 
and monopolizing fpirit of an AfTociation, which not 
only confines its benevolence to its own Members (like 
any other charitable afTociation) but hoards up in its bo- 
fom ineftimable fecrets, whofe natural tendency, they 
fay, is to form the heart to this generous and kind con- 
du6t, and infpire us with love to all mankind. The 
profane world cannot fee the beneficence of concealing 
from public view a principle or a motive which fo pow- 
erfully .induces a Mafon to be good and kind. The 
Brother fays that publicity would rob it of its force, 
and we muil take him at his word ; and our curiofity is 
fo much the more excited to learn what are the fecrets 
•which have fo fmgular a quality. 

Thus did the Fraternity conduQ themfelves, and thus 
were they confidered by the public, when it was carried 
over from England to the continent ; and here, it is to 
be particularly remarked, that all our Brethren abroad 
profefs to have received the Myftery of Free Mafonry 
from Britain. This is furely a puzzle in the hiftory ; 
and we muft leave it to others to reconcile this with the 
repeated alfertions in Anderfon's book of Conftitutions, 
" That the Fraternity exifted all over the world," and 
the numberlefs examples which he adduces of its exer- 
tions in other countries ; nay, with his repeated aCTer- 
tions, "that it frequently was near perifhing in Britain, 
and that our Princes were obliged to fend to France and 
other countries, for leading men, to reftore it to its for- 
mer energy among us." \Yc Hiall find by and by that 


this is not a point of mere hiftorical curiofity, but that 
much hinges on it. 

In the mean time, let us juft remember, that the 
^lain tale of Brotherly love had been polifned up to 
proteflations of univerl'al benevolence, and had taken 
place of loyalty and attachment to the unfortunate Fa- 
mily of Stuart, which was now totally forgotten in the 
Englifli Lodges. The Revolution had taken place, and 
King James, with many of his moll zealous adherents, 
had taken refuge in France. 

But they took Free Mafonry with them to the conti- 
nent, where it was immediately received by the French, 
and w^as cultivated with great zeal in a manner fuited to 
the tafte and habits of that highly polifhed people. The 
Lodges in France naturally became the rendezvous of 
the^adhe rents to their baniihed King, and the means of 
carrying on a correfpondence with their friends in En- 
gland. At this time alfo the Jefuits took a more aftive 
hand in Free Mafonry than ever. They infmuated 
themfelves into the Englifh Lodges, where they were 
carefTcd by the Catholics, who panted after the re efta- 
bliihment of their faith, and tolerated by the Proteftant 
royalifts, who thought no concelfion too great a com- 
penfation for their fervices. At this time changes were 
made in fome of the mafonic fymbols, particularly in 
the tracing of the Lodge, which bear evident marks of 
.Jefuitical interference. 

It was in the Lodges held at St. Germain's diat the 
degree of Chevalier Mafon EcoJ'ois was added to the 
three symbolical degrees of Eiigliih Mafonry. The 
conftitution, as impoi^ted, appeared too coarfe for the 
rehned tafte of our nei<^hbours, and they muft make 

28 The schisms in 

Mafonry more like the occupation of a gentleman. 
Therefore, the Englifh degrees of Apprentice, Fellow- 
craft, and Mafter, were c?i.\\ed fymbolical, and the whole 
Fraternity was eonfidered either as typical of fomething 
more elegant, or as a preparation for it. The degrees 
afterwards fuperadded to this leave us in doubt which of 
thefe views the French entertained of our Mafonry. But 
at all events, this rank of Scotch Knight was called the 
J? r/2 degree of the Alafon Parfait. There is a device 
belonging to this Lodge which deferves notice. A lion, 
wounded by an arrow, and efcaped from the (lake to 
which he had been bound, with the broken rope ftill 
about his neck, is reprefented lying at the mouth of a 
cave, and occupied with mathematical inftruments which 
are lying near him. A broken crown lies at the foot of 
the ftake. There can be little doubt but that this em- 
blem alludes to the dethronement, the captivity, the 
efcape, and the afylum of James II. and his hopes of re- 
efiablifhment by the help of the loyal Brethren. This 
emblem is worn as the cror^et of the Scotch Knidit. It 
is not very certain, however when this degree was added, 
whether immediately after King James's Abdication, or 
about the time of the attempt to fet his fon on the Britifli 
Throne. But it is certain, that in 1716, this and flill 
higher degrees of Mafonry were much in vogue in the 
Court of France. The refining genius of the French, 
and th^ir love of fliow, made the humble denominations 
of the Englifh Brethren difgufting ; and their pafTion for 
military rank, the only character that conneBed them 
with the Court of an abfolute monarch, made them adapt 
Free Mafonry to the fame fcale of public eftimation,- 
and invent ranks of Masons Chevaliers ornamented with 
titles, and ribbands, and ftars. Thefe were highly re- 
lidied by that vain people ; and the price of receptioii, 
which was very high, became a rich fund, that was gene- 

FREE masonry! ssg 

roufly applied to relieve the wants ofthe baniflied Biitifii 
and Irilh adherents of the unfortunate Family who had 
taken refuge among them. Three new degrees oi Novice, 
Eleve^ and Chevalier^ were foon added, and the Par- 

fait Ma^on had now feven receptions to go through, for 
each of which a handforae contribution was made. Af- 
terwards, when the firll beneficent purpofe of this con- 
tribution ceafed to exift, the finery that now glittered in 
all the Lodges made a (till more craving demand for re- 
ception-money, and ingenuity was fet to work to invent 
new baits for the Parfait Ma^on. More degrees of chi- 
valry were added, interfperfcd with degrees of Philo- 

fophe^ Pellerin, Clairvoyant, &:c. &:c. till fome Pari- 
lian Lodges had forty-five ranks of Mafonry, having fif- 
teen orders of chivalry. For a Knighthood, with a 
Ribband and a Star, was a bonne bouche, given at every 
third ftep. For a long while thefe degrees of chivalry 
proceeded on fome faint analogies with feveral orders 
of chivalry which had been erefted in Europe. All of 
thefe had fome reference to fome myftical do6lrines of 
the Chriftian Church, and were, in faft, contrivances 
ofthe Church of Rome for fecuringj and extendinsj her 
influence on the laymen of rank and fortune, whom flie 
retained in her fervice by thefe play-things. The 
Knights Templars of Jeruialera, and the Knights ofthe 
Defert, whofe office it was to protefcl pilgrims, and to 
defend the holy city^ afforded very apt models for Ma- 
fonic mimicry, becaufe the Temple of Solomon, and 
the Holy Sepulchre, always fhared the fame fate. Ma- 
ny contended do6lrines ofthe theologians had alfb their 
Clievaliers to defend them. 

In all this progrefTive mummery we fee much of the 

hand of the Jefuits, and it would feem that it was encou- 
raged by the church. But a thing happened which 


might eafily have been forefeen. The Lodges had be- 
come familiar with this kind of invention ; the profefled 
objeftof many real Orders of Knighthood was often 
very whimfical, or very refmed and far-fetched, and it 
required all the finefle of the clergy to give it fome flight 
conne6iion with religion or morality. The Mafons, 
protected by their fecrecy, ventured to go farther. The 
declamations in the Lodges by the Brother orator, muft 
naturally refemble the compofitions of the ancient fo- 
phifts, and confift of wire-drawn diflertations on tiie fo- 
cial duties, where every thing is amplified and ftrained to 
hyperbole, in their far-fetched and fanciful explanations 
of the fymbols of Mafonry. Thus accuftomed to alle- 
gory, to fitlion, to fineffe, and to a fort of innocent hy- 
pocrify, by which they cajoled themfelves into a notioli 
that this child's-play had at bottom a ferious and impor- 
tant meaning, the zealous champions of Free Mafonry 
found no inclination to check this inventive fpirit or 
circumfcribe its flights. Under the prote6lion of Ma- 
fonic fecrecy, they planned fchemes of a difi^erent kind, 
and inilead of more Orders of Chivalry direfted againft 
the enemies of their faith, they formed aflbciations in 
oppofition to the ridiculous and oppreflfive ceremonies 
and fuperfi:itions of the church. There can be no doubt, 
that in thofe hidden aflemblies, a free communication of 
fentiment . was highly reliflied and much indulged. It 
was foon fufpected that fuch ufe was made of the covert 
of a Mafon Lodge ; and the church dreaded the confe- 
quences, and endeavored to fupprefs the Lodges. But 
in vain. And Vv'hen it was found, that even auricular 
confeflion, and the fpiritual threatnings of the church, 
could not make the Brethren break their oath of fecre- 
cy ; a full confidence in their fecurity made thefe free- 
thinking Brethren bring forward, with all the eagernefs 
of 31 miflionary, fuch fentiraents as they were afraid to 


hazard in ordinary fociety. This was long fufpecled ; 
but the rigours of the church only ferved to knit the 
Brethren more firmly together, and provoked them to a 
more eager exercile of their bold criticifms. The Lod-r 
ges became fchools of fcepticifm and infidelity, and th^ 
fpirit of converfion or profely tifm grew every day ftron- 
ger. Cardinal Dubois had before this time labourecj 
with all his might to corrupt the minds of the courtiers, 
by patronifmg, dire6lly and indireclly, all fceptics who 
were otherwife men of talents. He gave the young 
courtiers to underftand, that if he Ihould obtain the 
reins of government, they Ihould be. entirely freed froiiji 
the bigotry of ..Louis XIV. and the oppreflion of th^ 
church, and Ihould have the free indulgence of their in- 
clinations. His own plans were difappointed by his 
death; but the Regent Orleans was equally indulgent, 
■and in a few years there was hardly a man in France who 
pretended to knowledge and reflection, who did not 
laugh at all religion. Amidil the almoft infinite number 
cf publications from the French preffes, there is hardly 
«. dozen to be found whofe author attempts to vindicate 
religion from the charges of univerfal fuperflition and 
falfehood. And it muft be acknowledged that little ellc 
was to be feen in the eftablifhed religion of the kiif^dom. 
The people found nothing in Chriftianity but a never- 
ceafing round of infignificant and troublefome ceremo- 
nies, which confumed their time, and furnillied a fund 
for fupporting a f6t of lordly and oppreffive dignitaries, 
who declared in the plainefl manner their own difiDelief 
of their religion, by their total difregard of common de- 
cency, by their continual refidence at court, and by ab- 
folute negleft, and even the mod haughty and oppref- 
five treatment, of the only part of their order that took 
any concern about the religious fentiments of the nation, 
namely, the Cures or parifh-priefts. The monks ap- 


peared only as lazy drones ; but die parifii-priefts in- 
ftru6led the people, vifited the fick, reconciled the of- 
fender and the oft'ended, and M'ere the great mediators 
between the landlords and their vafiTals, an office which 
endeared tliem more to the people than all the other cir- 
cumRances of their profeflion. And it is remarkable, 
that in all the licentious writings and bitter fatyrical tales 
of the philofophic freethinkers, fuch as Voltaire, who 
never fails to have a taunting hit at the clergy, the Cure 
is generally an amiable perfonage, a charitable man, a 
friend to the poor a:tid unfortunate, a peace-maker, and 
a man of piety and worth. Yet thefe men were kept in 
a ftate of the mofh flavifli and cruel fubjedion by the 
higher orders of the clergy, and all hopes of advance- 
ment cut off. Rarely, hardly ever, does it happen, 
that a Cure becomes a Bifliop. Tlie Abbes ftep into 
every line of preferment. When fuch procedure. is ob- 
ferved by a whole nation, what opinion can be formed 
but that the whole is a vile cheat ? This however was 
the cafe in France, and therefore infidelity was almoft 
univerfal. Nor was this overftrained freedom or licen- 
tioufnefs confined to religious opinions. It was perhaps 
inore naturally directed to the reltraints arifing from civil 
fubonlination. The familiar name of Brother could not 
but tickle the fancy of thofe of inferior rank, when they 
found themfelves fet cheek by jowl with perfons whom 
they cannot approach out of doors but with cautious re- 
fped ; and while thefe men of rank have their pride lul- 
led a little, and perhaps their hearts a little foftened by 
the flang of fentimental declamation on the topic of Bro- 
therly love and Utopian felicity, the others begin to 
fancy the happy days arrived, and the light of philan- 
thropy beaming from the eaii and illuminating the 
.Lodg^. The Garret Pamphleteer enjoys his fancied au- 
thority as Senior ^Vardcn, and ccndufts with affection- 


ate folemnity the young nobleman, who pants for tl^e 
honor of Mafteriliip, and he praifes the 'trufty Brother 
who has guarded him in his perilous journies round the 
room. What topic of declamation can be more agree- 
able than the equality of the worthy Brethren ? and how 
naturally will the Brother Orator, in fupport of this fa- 
vorite topic, Aide into all the common-place pictures of 
human fociety, freed from all the anxieties attending 
civil diftin£lion, and palling their days in happy (impli- 
city and equality. From this ftate of the fancy, it is 
hardly a ftep to defcant on the propriety, the expedien- 
cy, and at laft, the juftice of this arrangement of civil 
fociety ; and in doing this, one cannot avoid taking no- 
tice of the great obftru6lions to human felicity which w^e 
fee in every quarter, proceeding from the abufes of thofe 
diftinftions of rank and fortune which have arifen in the 
world : and as the mifchiefs and horrors of fuperftition 
are topics of continual declamation to thofe who wifh to 
throw off the reftraints of religion ; fo the oppreffion of 
the rulers of this world, and the fufferings of talents and 
worth in inferior ftations, will be no lefs greedily liften- 
ed to by all whofe notions of morality are not very pure, 
and who would be glad to have the enjoyments of the 
wealthy without the trouble of labouring for them. 
Free Mafonry may be affirmed to have a natural ten- 
dency to foller fuch levelling wifhes ; and we cannot 
doubt but that great liberties are taken with thofe fub- 
je8;s in the Lodges, efpecially in countries where the 
diftinQions of rank and fortune are ftrongly expreffed 
and noticed. 

But it is not a matter of mere probability that the Ma- 
fon Lodges werethe feminaries of thefe libertine inftruc- 
tions. We have diftind proof pf it, even in forae of the 



French degrees. In the degree called the Chevaiilr de 
Soleil^ the wh^k inftru6lion is aimed againft the efta- 
blifhed religion of the kingdom. The profeired objetl 
is the emancipation from error, and the difcovery of 
truth. The infcription in the eaft is SageJJ^e^ that in the 
north is Liberie^ that in the fouth is Fermete, and in the 
Veft it is Caution ; terms which are very fignificant. 
The Trcs Venerable is Adam ; the Senior Warden '\% 
Truth, and all the Brethren are Children of Truth* 
The procefs of reception is very well contrived : the 
whole ritual is d-eCent and circumfpfe^^ and nothing oc"- 
turs "which can alarm the molt timid. Brother Truth 
is aflved, What is the hour ? He informs Father Adam, 
that among men it is the hour of darknefs, but that it is 
mid-day in the Lodge. The candidate is afl^ed, Why 
he has knocked at the door, and what is become of the 
eight companions (he is one of the ]£lus) ? He fays, 
that the world is in darknefs, and his companions and he 
have loft each other ; that RefjKrus, the flar of Europe, 
is obfcured by clouds of incenfe, offered up by fuperfti- 
tion to defpots, who have made themfelves gods, and 
have retired iato the inmoft recefies of their palaces, that 
they may not be recognifed to be men, while their priefts 
. are deceiving the people, and cauhng them to worfliip 
thefe divinities. This and many fimilar fentiments arc 
evident allufions to the pernicious doftrine of the book 
called Or/gine dit Defpotifme Oriental, where the religion 
of all countries is confidered as a there eihgine of ftate ; 
where it is declared that reafon is the only light which 
nature has given to man ; and that our anxiety about 
futurity has made us imagine endlefs torments in a future 
world ; and that princes, taking advantage of our weak- 
nefs, have taken the management of our hopes and fears, 
and direQed them fo as to fuit their ov,?n purpofes ; 
emancipation from the fear of death is declared the 


greated of all deliverances ; queftions are pot to 'the 
candidate, tending to dilcover whether and how far he 
jnay be traded, and what facrihces he is willing to make 

in i'earch after truth. 


This fhape given to the plaftic myflevies of Mafonr-y 
was much reliihed, and in a very Ihort time thi,s new 
path was completely explored, and a new feries of de- 
grees was added to the lift, viz. the Novice, and the Elu 
.de la Verite, and the Suhlime PhiLofophe. In the pro- 
grcfs through thefe degrees, the Brethren muft forget 
that ihey have formerly been Chevaliers de I'Orient, 
Chevaliers de r Aiglcy when the fymbols were all ex- 
plained as typical of the Ufv and immortality brought to 
light by the gofpel. Indeed they are taught to clals this 
among the other clouds whith have been difpelled by 
the fun of reafon^ Ila'CIi in the Chevukrie dt /' Aigle 
there is a two-fold explanation given of the fymbols, by 
which a lively imagination may conceive the Vs^hole hif- 
tory and peculiar do^rines of the New Teftainent, as 
being typical of the final triumph of reafon and philofo- 
phy over error. And perhaps this degree is the very 
iiiil ftep in the plan of I l l u m i mat i o n . 

We are not to fuppofe that this was carried to extre- 
mity at once. But it is certain, that before 1743 it had 
become univerfalj and that the Lodges of Free Mafons 
had become the places fOr making profelytes to every 
itrange and obnoxious do£lrine.. Theurgy^ Cofmogonyj^ 
Cabala^ and many v.-himfical and myftical doctrines, 
which have been grafted on the di ft ingui flung tenets ai>d 
the pure morality of the |ews and ChriiUans, were fub 
jetts of frequent dircuffion in the Lodges. The celebr?. 
ted Chevalier Ram lay v»'as a zealous apoftle in this mif 
tan. Aifctlionarely attached to the family of Stuait, 


and to his native country, he had co-operated heartily 
with thofe who endeavoured to employ Mafonry in the 
fervice of the Pretender, and, availing himfelf of the 
pre-eminence given (at firft perhaps as a courtly com- 
pHment) to Scotch Mafonry, he laboured to ftiew that 
it exifted, and indeed arofe, during the Criifades, and 
that there really was either an order of chivalry whofe 
bufinefs it was to rebuild the Chriftian churches deftroy- 
ed by the Saracens ; or that a fraternity of Scotch Ma- 
fons were thus employed in the eaft, under the protec-. 
tion of the Knights of St. John of Jerufatem. He found 
fome fa8:s which M^ere thought fufficient grounds for 
fuch an opinion, fuch as the building of the college of 
thefe Knights in London, called the Temple, which was 
aftually done by the public Fraternity of Mafons who 
had been in the holy wars. It is chiefly to him that we 
are indebted for that rage for Mafonic chivalry which 
diflinguilhes the French Free Mafonry. Ramfay's An- 
gular religious opinions are well known, and his no lefs 
lingular enthufiafm. His eminent learning, his elegant 
talents, his amiable charafter, and particularly his efli- 
mation at court, gave great influence to every thing he 
faid on a fubjeft which was merely a matter of fafliion 
and amufement. Whoever has attended much to hu- 
man affairs, knows the eagernefs with which men propa- 
gate all lingular opinions, and the delight which attends 
their favorable reception. None arc more zealous than 
the apoftles of infidelity and atheifm. It is in human 
nature to catch with greedinefs any opportunity of doing 
what lies under general reftraint. And if our apprehen- 
fions are not completely quieted, in a cafe where our 
wiflies lead us fl;rongly to fome favorite but hazardous 
objed, we are confcious of a kind of felf-bullying. 
This naturally gets into our difcourfe, and in our eager- 
nefs to get the encouragement of joint adventurers, we 


enforce our tenets with an energy, and even a violence, 
that is very inconfiftent with the fubjecl in hand. If I 
am an Atheift, and my neighbour a Theifl, there is furely 
nothing that Ihould make me violent in my endeavors to 
rid him of his error. Yet how violent were the people 
of this party in France. 

Thefe fafts and obfervations fully account for the 
zeal with which all this patch-work addition to the fim- 
, pie Free Mafonry of England was profecuted in France. 
It furprifes us, Britons, who areaccuftomed to confi- 
der the whole as a matter of amufement for young men, 
who are glad of any pretext for indulging in convivia- 
lity. We generally confider a man advanced in life with 
Icfs refpcft, if he (hows any ferious attachment to fuch 
.things. , But in France, the civil and religious reftraints 
on converfation made thefe fecret aflemblies very pre- 
cious ; and they were much frequented by men of let- 
ters, who there found an opportunity of exprelling in 
• fafety their diffatisfaftion with thofe reftraints, and with 
that inferiority of rank and condition to which they were 
fubjetled, and which appeared to themfelves fo inade- 
quate to their own talents and merits. The Avocats de 
Parlement, -the unbeneficed Abbes, the young men of 
no fortune, and the Joi-dijant philofophers, formed a 
numerous band, frequented the Lodges, and there dif- 
. culled every topic of religion and politics. Specimens 
of this occupation appeared from time to time in Collec- 
tions of Difcourfes delivered by the Frere Oratcur. I 
once had in my polleffion two volumes of thefe difcour- 
fes, which I now regret that I left in a Lodge on the 
continent, when my relifli for Free Mafonry had forfa- 
ken me. Or.e of thefe is adiicourfe by Brother Robi- 
net,. delivered in the. Lo^e; des Chevaliers Bienfaifants de 
la Sainic Cite at Lyons, at a vii'iiation bv the Gri.nd 


Mafler the Due de Charires, afterwards Orleans and £"-. 
galite. In this difcourfe we have the germ and fiibuance 
of his noted work, the Syjlcme de la Nature, ou V Homme 
'moral et phyfique. In another difcourfe, delivered by 
Brother Condorcet in the Loge des Ehilalethes at Straf- 
bourg, we have the outhnes of his poflhumous work, 
Le Progres de rEfprit humahi ; and in another, deh- 
Vered by Mirabeau in the Loge des Chevaliers Bienfai-^ 
Jants at Paris, we have a great deal of the levelling prin- 
ciples, and cofmopolitifm,"^ which he thundered from 
the tribunes of the National Afiembly. But the molt 
remarkable performances of this kind are, the Archives 
MyJlico-Hermetiques,2i.n6. the Des Erreurs, et de la VeritL 
The firft is confidered as an account hiftorical and dog- 
matical, of the procedure and fyftcm of the Loge des 
Chevaliers Bienfaifants at Lyons. This was the mod 
zealous and fyftematical of all the cofmopolitical Lod- 
ges in France. It worked long under the pati'onage of 
its Grand Mailer the Due de Chartres, afterwards Or- 
leans, and at lad Ph. Egalite. It fent out many affili- 
ated Lodges, which were erefted in various parts of the 
French dominions. The daughter Lodges at Paris,, 
Strafbourg, Lille, Thouloufe, took the additional title 
of Philalethei'. There arofe fome fchifms, as may he 
expefted, in an AiTociation where every man is encou- 
raged to broach and to propagate any the moft fingular 
opinion. Thele fchifms were continued with fome heat, 
but were in a great meafure repaired in Lodges which 
took the name o^ Amis reunis de la VeritL One of this 
denomination at Paris became very eminent. The mother 
Lodge at Lyons extended its correfpondence into Ger- 
inany, and other foreign countries, and fent conflitutions 

* Citi/enniip of the World, from the Greek words Cofm&St. 
«-orld, and Po/h, a citY. 


or fyflems, by which the Lodges condu8.ed their ope- 

I have not been able to trace the fteps by which this 
Lodge acquired fuch an afcendency ; but I fee, that in 
1769 and 1770, all the refined or philofophical Lodge* 
in Alface and Lorraine united, and in a convention at 
Lyons, formally put thernfelves under the patronage of 
this Lodge, cultivated a continual correfpondence, and 
confidered thernfelves as profeffmg one Mafonic Faith, 
fufficiently diftinguifhable from that of other Lodges. 
What this was we do not very diftinftly know. We 
can only infer it from fome hiltorical circumftances. 
One of its favorite daughters, the Lodge Theador von 
der guten Rath, at Munich, became fo remarkable ft>r 
difcourfes dangerous to church and ftate, that the Elec- 
tor of Bavaria, after repeated admonitions during a 
courfe of five or fix years, was obliged to fupprefs it in 
1786. Another of its fuffragan Lodges at Regenfburgli 
became exceedingly obnoxious to the ftate, and occafi- 
oned fcveral commotions and infurreftions. Another, 
at Paris, gradually refined into the Jacobin club — And 
in the year 1791, the Lodges in Alface and Lorraine, 
with thofe of Spire and Worms, invited Cuftine into 
Germany, and delivered Mentz into his hands. 

When werefled on thefe hiftorical faBs, we get fomc 
4<.ey to the better underftanding of the two performances 
which I mentioned as defcriptive of the opinions and 
occupations of this fed of Free Mafons. The Ar- 
chives Myjlico-Hermetiqncs exhibit a very ftrange mix- 
ture of Myfticifm, Theofophy, Cabaliftic whim, real 
Science, Fanaticifm, and Freethinking, both in religion 
and politics. They muft not be confidered as an account 
of any fettled fyft-emj but rather as annals pf the pro- 


ceedings of the Lodge, and abftra6ls of die ftrang6 
dottrines which made their fucceflive appearance in 
the Lodge. But if an intelligent and cautious reader 
examine them attentively, he will fee, that the book is 
the w^ork of one hand, and that all the wonders and 
oddities are caricatured, fo as to engrofs the general 
attention, while they alfo are twifted a litde, fo that in 
one way or another they accord with a general fpirit of 
licentioufnefs in morals, religion, and politics. Al- 
though every thing is expreifed decently, and with fome 
caution and moderation, atheifm, materialifm, and dif- 
content with civil fubordination, pervade the whole. It 
is a work of great art. By keeping the ridicule and the 
danger of fuperftitionand ignorance continually in view, 
the mind is captivated by the relief which free enquiry and 
communication of fentiment feems to fecure, and we are 
put oft our guard againft the rifk of delufion, to which 
we are expofed when our judgment is warped by our 

The other book, " Des Erreurs et de la Verite," came 
from the fame fchool, and is a fort of holy fcripture, or 
at leaft a Talmud among the Free Mafons of France. 
It is intended only for the initiated, and is indeed a myf- 
tery to any other reader. But as it was intended for 
fpreading the favorite opinions of fome enthufiaftic 
Brethren, every thing is faid that does notdireflly be'tray 
the fecrets of the Order. It contains a fyftem of The- 
ofophy that has often appeared in the writings of philo- 
fophers, both in ancient and modern times. " All the 
intelligence and moral fentiment that appears in the uni- 
verfe, either direftly, as in the minds of men, or indireft- 
ly, as an inference from the marks of defign that we fee 
around us, fome of which fhow us that men have afted, 
and many more that fome other intelligence has adedj 


are conGdcred as parts or portions of a general mafs of 
intelligence which exifls in the univerfe, in the fame 
manner as matter exifls in it. This intelligence has an 
infcrutable connexion with the material part of the uni^ 
verfe, perhaps refembling the connexion, equally un- 
fearchable, that fubfifts between the mind and body of 
man ; and it may be confidered as the Soid of the World. 
It is this fubftance, the natural object of wonder and ref- 
pe6:, that men have called God, and have made the ob- 
jed of religious worfbip. In doing fo they have fallen 
into grofs miftakes, and have created for themfelves 
numberlefs unfounded hopes and fears, which have been . 
the fource of fuperftition and fanaticifm, the moft de- 
ftru6live plagues that have ever afllifted the human race. 
The Soul of Man is fcparated from the general mafs of 
intelligence by fome of the operations of nature, which 
we fliall never underftand, juft as water is raifed from 
the ground by evaporation, or taken up by the root of 
a plant. And as the water, after an unfearchable train 
of changes, in which it fometimes makes part of a 
flower, fometimes part of an animal, &c. is at laft 
reunited, in its original form, to the great mafs of wa- 
ters, ready to run over the fame circle again ; fo tlie 
Soul of Man, after performing its office, and exhibit- 
ing all that train of intelleftual phenomena that we call 
human life, is at laft fwallowed up in the great occaji of 
intelligence." The author then breaks out 

" Felix qui potuit rerum cognofcere caufas, 
Atque metus et inexorabile fatum 
Subjecit pedibus, ftrepitumque Aclierontrs avari.'* 

For he has now got to his afylum. This deity of his 
may be the objeft of wonder, like every thing great and 
incomprehcnfible, but not of worftiip. as the iporal 


aH the schisms i>r 

Governor of the univerfe. The hopes are at an end, 
which reft on our notions of the immortahiy and indivi- 
duality of the hurhati foul, and on the encouragemenfe' 
■\vhich religion holds forth to believe, that improvement 
of the mind in the courfe of this life, by the exercife of 
■Wifdom and of virtuous difpofitions, is but the beginning 
of an endlefs progrefs in all that can give delight to the 
ratidnal and well-difpofed mind. No relation now fub- 
fifts between man and Deity that can Warm the heart. 
But, as this is contrary to fome natural propenfity in the 
human mind, which in all ages and nations has panted 
after fome connexion with Deity, the author ftrives to 
avail himfelf of fome cold principles of fymmetry in the 
"Works of nature, fome ill-fupported notions of propri- 
ety, and other fuch conhderations, to make this anima 
TkuTidi an objeft of love and refpeft. This is done in 
greater detail in another work. Tableau des rapports en- 
fre r Homme, Dieu, et rUnivers, which is undoubtedly 
by the fame hand. But the intelligent reader will rea- 
dily fee, that fuch incongruous things canhot be recon- 
ciled, and that we can expert nothing here but fophiftry. 
The author proceeds, in the next place, to confider 
man as related to man, and to trace out the path to hap- 
pinefs in this life. H^re we haVe the fame overftrained 
morality as in the other work, thd fafne univerfal bene- 
volence, the fame lamentations oVcr the miferable ftate 
of mankind, refulting fronfi the opprefiTion of the power- 
ful, the great ones of the earth, who have combined 
againfl; the happinefs of mankind, and have fucceeded, 
by debafing their minds, fo that they have become wil- 
ling flaves. This could not have been brought about 
without the affiftance of fuperftition. But the princes 
of this world enlilled into their fervice the pricfts, who 
exerted themfelves in darkening the imderltandings of 
men, and filled their minds with religious terrors. The 



altar became the chief pillar of the thrQne, and men 
were held in complete fubje6lion. Nothing can recover 
them from this abjeftftate but knowledge. While this 
difpels their fears, it will alfo fliow them their rights, 
and the way to attain them. 

It deferves particularly to be remarked, that this fyf- 
tem of opinions (if fuch an inconfiftent mafs of affertions 
can be called a fydem) bears a great refemblance to a 
performance of Toland's, publiflied in 1720, called 
Pantheijiicon, feu ^Celcbratio Sodalitii Socratici. It is 
an account of the principles of a Fraternity which he 
calls Socratica, and the Brothers Pantheiftae. They are 
fuppofed to hold a Lodge, and the author gives a ritual 
of the procedure in this Lodge ; the ceremonies of open- 
ing and (hutting of the Lodge, the admiflion of Mem- 
bers into its different degrees, Sec. Reafon is the Sun 
that illuminates the whole, and Liberty and Equality 
are the objcfts of their occupations. 

Wc fliall fee afterwards that this book was fondly pufii- 
ed into Germany, tranflated, commented, and mifre- 
prefented, fo as to take off the attention from the real 
fpirit of the book, which is intentionally wrapped up in 
cabala and enigma. Mirabeau was at much pains to 
procure it notice ; and it mufl therefore be confidered 
as a treafure of the cofmo-political opinions of the Affo- 
ciation of Chevaliers Bienfai/anti, FhilaUihes^ and Amis 
Reunis, who were called the im.proved Lodges, work- 
ing under the D. de Chartres — of thele there were 266 
in 1784. This will be found a very important remark. 
Let it alfo be recolletled afterwards, that this Lodge of 
Lyons fent a deputy to a grand Convention in Germ.a- 
ny in 1772, viz. Mr. WiUeniiooz, and that the bulinei's 


■was thought of fuch importanccj that he remained there 
two years. 

The book Des Erreurs et de la Verite^ muft therefore 
be confidered as a claffical book of thefe opinions. We 
know that it originated in the Logc des Chev. Bien/aifants 
at Lyons. We know that this Lodge ftood as it were 
at the head of French Free Mafonry, and that the fi6ti- 
tious Order of Mafonic Knights Templars was formed 
in this Lodge, and was confidered as the model of all 
the reft of this mimic chivalry. They proceeded fo far 
in this mummery, as even to have the clerical tonfure. 
The Duke of Orleans, his fon, the Elector of Bavaria, 
and fome other German Princes, did not fcruple at this 
mummery in their own perfons. In all the Lodges of 
reception, the Brother Orator never failed to declaim 
on the topics of fuperftition, blind to the exhibition he 
was then making, or indifferent as to the vile hypocrify 
of it. We have, in the lifts of Orators and Office- 
bearers, many names of perfons, who have had an op- 
portunity at laft of proclaiming their fentiments in pub- 
lic. The Abbe Sieyes was of the Lodge of Philalethes 
at Paris, and alfo at Lyons. Lequinio, author of the 
moft profligate book that ever difgraced a prefs, the 
Prcjuges vaincus par la Ra?fo?if was warden in the 
Lodge Compatie So dale. Defpremenil, Bailly, Fau- 
chet, Maury, Mounier, were of the fame fyftem, though 
in different Lodges. They were called Martinifts. from 
a St. Martin, who formed a fchifm in the fyftem of the 
Chevaliers Bienfaijants^ of which we ha\e not any very 
precife account. Mercier gives fome account of it in 
his Tableau de Paris, and in his Annee 1888. The 
breach alarmed the Brethren, and occa honed great heats. 
But it was healed, and the Fraternity took the name of 
Mifa du Renis; which is an anagram of des Arv^is Rrdnis, 


The Bifiiop of Autun, the man fo bepraifed as the be- 
nevolent Citizen of the World, the friend of mankind 
and of good order, was Senior Warden of another Lodge 
at Paris, eftablifhed in 1786 (I think chiefly by Or- 
leans and himfelf) which afterwards became the Jacobin 
Club. In fhort, we may affert with confidence, that 
the Mafon Lodges in France were the hot-beds, where 
the feeds were foon, and tenderly reared, of all the per- 
nicious do6lrines which foon after choaked every moral 
or religious cultivation, and have made the Society 
worfe than a wafte, have made it a noifome marfli of hu- 
man corruption, filled with every rank and poifonous 

Thefe Lodges were frequented by perfons of all 
ranks, and of every profeffion. The idle and the frivo- 
lous found amufement, and glittering things to tickle 
their fatiated fancies. There they became the dupes of 
the declamations of the crafty and licentious Abbes, and 
writers of every denomination. Mutual encouragement 
in the indulgence of hazardous thoughts and opinions 
which flatter our wilhes or propenfities is a lure which 
few minds can refift. I believe that moft men have felt 
this in fome period of their lives. I can find no other 
way of accounting for the company that I have fome- 
times feen in a Mafon Lodge. The Lodge de la Pdr- 
Jaite Intelligence 2ii Liege, contained, in December 1770, 
the Prince Bifliop, and the greatell part of his Chapter, 
and all the Office-bearers were dignitaries of the church ; 
yet a difcourfe given by the Brother Orato^r was as poig- 
nant a fatire on fuperftition and credulity, as if it had 
been written by Voltaire. It was under the aufpices of 
this Lodge that the colleftion of difcourfes, which I 
ineniioned above, was publiflied, and there is no fault 
found with Brother Robinet, nor Brother Condorcet. 


Indeed the Trefonciers of Liege were proverbial even 
Jn Brabant, for their Epicurifm in the moft extenfive 
fenfe of the word. 

Thus. was corruption fpread over^the kingdom under 
J the mafk of moral inftru6lion. For thefe difcourfes were 
.full of the moft refined and ftrained morality, and florid 
_ paintings of Utopian felicity, in a ftate where all are 
Brothers and citizens of the world. But alas ! thefe 
wire-drawn principles feem to have had little influenc^e 
on the hearts, even of thofe who could beft difplay their 
beauties. Read the tragedies of Voltaire, and fome of 
his grave performances in profe — What man is there 
who feems better to know his Mafter's will ? No man 
rcxpreffes with more propriety, with more exa6inefs, the 
feelings of a good mind. Nc man feems more fenfibJe 
of the immutable obligation of jullice and of truth. Yet 
this man, in his tranfa6lions with his book-fellers, with 
: the very men to whom he was immediately indebted for 
. his affluence and his fame, was repeatedly, nay, incef- 
fantly, guilty of the meaneft, the vileft tricks. When he 
fold a work for an enormous price to one book-feller 
, (even to Cramer, whom he really refpefted) he took cajre 
. that a furreptitious edition fliould appear in Holland, al- 
jnoft at the fame moment. Proof-flieets have been tra- 
ced from Fcrney to Amfterdam. When a friend pf 
Cramer's expoftulated with Voltaire on the injuftice of 
this conduB, he faid, grinning. Oh le bon Cramer — eh 
hien — il 7i'a que d'etre du parti — he may take a fliare — 
he will not give me a livre the lefs for the firft piece I 
offer him. Where fliall we fee more tendernefs, more 
honor, more love of every thing that is good and fair, 
than in Diderot's Pere dc Familk. — Yet this man did 
not fcruple to fell to the Emprefs of Ruflia an immenfe 
library, which he did notpoflefs. for an enormous pnce. 


having got her promife that it fiiould remain in his pof- 
feffion in Paris during his life. When her ambafiador 
wanted to fee it, after a year or two's payments, and the 
vifitation could be no longer ftaved off, Diderot was- 
obliged to fet off in a hurry, and run through all the- 
book-fellers fhops in Germany, to help him to fill his' 
empty fhelves. He had the good fortune to fave ap> 
pearances — but the trick took air, becaufe he had been' 
niggardly in his attention to the ambaffador's fecretary. 
This, however, did not hinder him from honoring his 
imperial pupil with a vifit. He expeded adoration, as 
the light of the world, and was indeed received by the 
Ruffian courtiers with all the childifli fondnefs that they 
feel for every Parifian mode. But they did not under- 
ftand him, and as he did not like to lofe money at play, 
they did not long court his company. He found his 
pupil too clearlighted. Ces philofophes, faid fhe, yb«/ 
bcaitx^ vus de loin ; mats de plus pres^ le diartiant parait 
tryjldl. He had contrived a poor ftory, by which he 
hoped to get his daughter married in parade, and porti- 
oned by her Majefly — but it was feen through, and h^l 
was difapfointed. 

When we fee the inefficacy of this refined humanity 
on thefe two apoflles of philofophical virtue, we fee 
ground for doubting of the propriety arid expediency of 
iruflirig entirely to it for the peace and happinefs of a 
ftate, and we fhould be on our guard when we liflcn to 
the florid fpeeches of the Brother Orator, and his con- 
gratulations on the emancipation from fuperftition and 
bppreffion, which will in a fhort time be effe6luated by 
Yhe Chevaliers Bienjaifanti, the Philahthes, ox ^.ny oiht'v 
(eel of cofmo-political Brethren. ' 


1 do not mean by all this to maintain, that the Mafon 
Lodges vere the Ible corrupters of the public mind in 
France. — No. — In all nations that have made much . 
progrefs in cultivation, there is a great tendency to cor- - 
ruption, and it requires all the vigilance and exertions 
of magiftrates, and of moral inftru6lors, to prevent the • 
fpreading of licentious principles and maxims of con- 
du6l. They arife naturally of themfelves, as weeds in 
a rich foil ; and, like weeds, they are pernicious, only 
becaufe they are, where they fhould not be, in a culti- 
vated field. Virtue is the cultivation of the human 
foul, and not the mere pofTcffion of good difpofitions ; 
all men have thefe, and occafionly exhibit them. But 
virtue fuppofes exertion ; and, as the hufbandman muft 
be incited to his laborious taflv by fome cogent motive, 
fo muft man be prompted to that exertion which is ne- 
ceflary on the part of every individual for the very ex- 
iflence of a great fociety : For man is indolent, and he 
is luxurious; he wiflies for enjoyment, and this with 
little trouble. The lefs fortunate envy the enjoyments 
of others, and repine at their own inability to obtain the 
like. They fee the idle in affluence. Few, even of 
good men, have the candour, nay, I may call it the 
wifdom, to think on the a6livity and the labour which 
had procured thefe comforts to the rich, or to their an- 
ceftors ; and to believe that they are idle only becaufe 
they are wealthy, but would be a6live if they were nee- 
dy. Such fpontaneous refle8.ions cannot be expelled 
in perfons who are engaged in unceafmg labour, to pro- 
cure a very moderate fhare (in their eftimation at leaftj 
of the comforts of lif6. Yet fuch reflexions w^ould, in 
the main, bejuft, and farely they would greatjy tend to 
quiet the miuds of the unfuccefsfuU 


This excellent purpofe may be greatly forwarded by 
a national eftablilhment for moral inftrii6tion and admo- 
nition ; and if the public inftru8;ors fliould add all the 
motives to virtuous moderation which are fuggefted by 
the confiderations of genuine religion, every advice 
would have a tenfold influence. Religious and moral 
inftruclions are therefore, in their own nature, unequi- 
vocal fupports to that moderate exertion of the authority 
ariiing from civil fubordination, which the mod refined 
philanthropift or cofmopolite acknowledges to be necef- 
fary for the very exiftence of a great and cultivated fo- 
ciety. I have never feen a fcheme of Utopian happinefs 
that did not contain fome fyftem of education, and I 
cannot conceive any fyftem of education of which mo- 
ral inftruftion is not a principal part. Such eftablifh- 
ments are di6lates of nature, and obtrude themfelves on 
the mind of every perfon who begins to form plans of 
civil union. And in all exifting focieties they have in- 
deed been formed, and are confidered as the greateft 
corrector and foother of thofe difcontents that are una- 
voidable in the minds of the unfuccefsful and the unfor- 
tunate. The magiftrate, therefore^ whofe profeffional 
habits lead him frequently to exert himfelf for the main- 
tenance of public peace, cannot but fee the advantages 
of fuch ftatcd remembrancers of our duty. He will 
therefore fupport and cherifti this public eftablifhment, 
which fo evidently affifts him in his beneficent and im- 
portant labours. 

Bat all the evils of fociety do not fpring from the dif- 
contents and the vices of the poor. The rich come in 
for a large and a confpicuous fliare. They frequently 
abufe their advantages. Pride and haughty behaviour 
©ii their part rankle in the breaftsj and affed the tempers 




of their inferiors, already fretted by the hardfhips of their 
own condition. The rich alfo are luxurious ; and ar;e 
often needy. Grafpin^ at every mean of gratification, 
they are inattentive to the rights of inferiors whom thev 
.defpife, and, defpifing, opprefs. Perhaps their own fu- 
periority has been acquired by injuftice. .Perhaps mod 
fovereignties have been acquired by oppreffion. Prin- 
ces and Rulers are but men ; as fuch, they abufe many 
of their greateft bleffings. Obferving that religions 
hopes make the good refigned under the, hardfhips of the 
prefent fcene, and that its terrors frequently reftrain the 
bad ; they avail themfelves of thefe obfervations, and 
fupport religion as an engine of ftate, and a mean of 
their own fecurity. But they are not contented with its 
real advantages ; and they are much more afraid of the 
refentment and the crimes of the offended profligate, 
than of the murmurs of the fuffering worthy. There- 
fore they encourage fuperftition, and call to their aid 
the vices of the priellhood. The priefts are men of like 
palTions as other men, and it is no ground of peculiar 
blame that they alfo frequently yield to the temptations 
of their fituation. They are encouraged tp the indul- 
gence of the love of influence natural to all men, arid 
they heap terror upon terror, to fubdue the minds of 
men, and darken their underftandings. Thus, the moft 
honorable of all employments, the moral iriftruBion of 
the ftate, is degraded to a vile trade, and is praclifed 
with all the deceit and rapacity of any other trade ; and 
religion, from being the honor and the fafeguard of a 
nation, becomes its greateft difgrace and curfe. 

When a nation has fallen into this lamentable ftate, it 
is extremely difticult to reform. Although nothing 
would fo immediately and fo completely remove ^11 
ground of complaint^ as the re-eftabJiihing private vir- 

FR£E masonry. J'i 

t^c, this is of all others the leaft likely to be adopted. 
The really worthy, who fee the mifchief where it really 
is, but who view this life as the fchool of improvement, 
and know that man is to be made perfeft through fuf- 
fering, are the lad perfons to complain. The worthlefs 
are the mod difcontented, the moft noify in their com- 
plaints, and the leaft fcrupulous about the means of re- 
drefs. Not to improve the nation, but to advance them- 
felves, they turn the attention to the abufes of power 
and influence. And they begin their attack where they 
think the place moft defencelefs, and where perhaps they 
expeft aftiftance from a difcontented garrifon. They 
attack fuperftition, and are not at all folicitous that true 
„ religion fhall not fuffer along with it. It is not, per- 
haps, with any direO: intention to ruin the ftate, but 
merely to obtain indulgence for themfelves, and the co- 
operation of the wealthy. They expeft to be liftened 
to by many who wifti for the fame indulgence ; and thus 
it is that religious free-thinking is generally the firft ftep 
of anarchy and revolution. For in a corrupted ftate, 
perfons of all ranks have the fame licentious wifhes, and 
if fuperftitious fear be really an ingredient of the human 
mind, it requires fome firuggle to fhake it off. No- 
thing is fo effeftual as mutual encouragement, and 
therefore all join againft prieftcraft ; even the rulers 
forget their intereft, which fhould lead them to fupport 
it. In fuch a ftate, the pure morality of true religioa 
vanifties from the fight. There is commonly no re- 
mains of it in the religion of the nation, and therefore 
all goes together. 

Perhaps there never was a nation where all thofe co- 
operating caufes had acquired greater ftrength than in 
France. Oppreflions of all kinds were at a height. 
The luxuries of life were enjoyed exclufively by the 


upper clafles, and this in the higheft degree of reline- 
ment ; fo that the defires of the reft were whetted to the 
utmoft. Religion appeared in its worft form, and feem- 
ed calculated folely for procuring eftablifhments for the 
younger fons of the infolent and ufelefs nobleffe. The 
morals of the higher orders of the clergy and of the laity 
were equally corrupted. Thoufands of literary men 
were excluded by their ftation from all hopes of advance- 
ment to the more refpeftable offices in the church. 
Thefe vented their difcontents as far as there was fafety, 
and were encouraged by many of the upper claffes, who 
joined them in their fatires on the priefthood. The 
clergy oppofed them, it is true, hut feebly, becaufe 
they could not fupport their oppoi;tion by examples of 
their own virtuous behaviour, but were always obliged 
to have recourfe to the power of the church, the very 
objeft of hatred and difguft. . The whole nation became 
infidel, and when in a few inftances a worthy Cure ut- 
tered the fmall ftill voice of true religion, it was not 
heard amidft the general noife of fatire and reproach. 
The mifconduftof adminiftration, and the abufe of the 
public treafures, were every day growing more impu- 
dent and glaring, and expofed the government to con- 
tinual Criticifm. But it was ftill too powerful to fuffer 
this to proceed to extremities ; while therefore infidelity 
and loofe fentiments of morality pafted unpunifhed, it 
"was ftill very hazardous to publifti any thing againft the 
ilate. It was in this refpect chiefly, that the Mafon 
Lodges contributed to the diftemination of dangerous 
opinions, and they were employed for this purpofe all 
over the kingdom. This is not an afiertion hazarded 
merely on account of its probability. Abundant proof 
■will appear by and by, that the moft turbulent charac- 
ters in the nation frequented the Lodges. We cannot 
doubt, but that under this covert they indulged ihdr 


fa6lious ■difpondons ; nay, we fhall find the greateft part 
of" the Lodges of France, converted, in the courfe of a 
very few weeks, into correfponding political focieties. 

But it is now time to turn our eyes to. the progrefs of 
Free Mafonry in Germany and the north of Europe ; 
there it took a more ferious turn. Free Mafonry was 
imported into Germany fomewhat later than into France. 
The firft German Lodge that we have any account of, is 
that at Cologne, erected in 1716, but very foon fup* 
prefled. Before the year 1725 there were many, both, 
in Proteftant and Catholic Germany. Thofe of Wetz- 
iar, Frankfort on the Mayne, Brunfwick, and Ham- 
burg, are the oldeft, and their priority is doubtful. All 
of them received their inflitution from England, and 
had patents from a mother Lodge in London. All ieem 
to have got the myllery through the fame channel, the 
banifhed friends of the Stuart family. Many of thefe 
were Catholics, and entered into the fervice of Auilria 
and the Catholic princes. 

The true hofpitality, that is no where more confpi- 
cuous than in the character of the Germans, made this 
inflitution a moft agreeable and ufeful paifport to thefe 
gentlemen ; and as many of them were in military (la- 
tions, and in garrifon, they found it a very eafy matter 
to fetup J^odges in all parts of Germany. Thefe af- 
forded a very agreeable paftime to the officers, who had 
little to occupy them, and were already accuilorned to 
a fubordination which did not affetl their vanity on ac- 
count of family cliftinftions. As the Eniign and thp 
General were equally gentleuKn, the allegory or play of 
univerfal Brotherhood was neither novel nor diigulting. 
Free Mafonry was then of the fimpleit form, conlilling 
of the three degrees of Apprentice, Fellow-cralt, and 


MaPter. It is remarkable, that the Germans had been 
long accuftomed to the word, the fign, and the gripe of 
the Mafons, and fome other handicraft trades. In ma- 
ny parts of Germany there was a diftinftion of opera- 
tive Mafons into Wort-Maurers and Schrift-Maurers, 
The Wort-Maurers had no other proof to give of theii: 
having been regularly brought up to the trade of build- 
ers, but the word and figns ; the Schrift-Maurers had 
written indentures to fhew. There are extant and in 
force, borough-laws, enjoining the Maftersof Mafons 
to give employment to journeymen who had the proper 
words and fign. In particular it appears, that fome ci- 
ties had more extenlive privileges in this rcfpetl than 
others. The word given at Wetzlar, the feat of the 
great council of revifion for the empire, entitled the pof- 
felfor to work over the whole empire. We may infer 
from the proceffes and decifions in fome of thofe muni- 
cipal courts, that a mafter gave a word and token for 
each year's progrefs of his apprentice. He gave the 
■word of the incorporated Imperial city or borough on 
which he depended, and alfo a v/ord peculiar to himfelf, 
by which all his own pupils could recognife each other. 
This mode of recognifance was probably the only docu- 
ment of education in old times, while writing was con- 
fined to a very fmall part of the community. When 
we refled on the nature of the German empire, a confe- 
deration of fmall independent dates, we fee that this 
profeffion cannot keep pace with the other mechanic arts, 
unlefs its pra£litioners arc inveited with greater privile- 
ges than others. Their great works exceed the ftrength 
of the immediate neighbourhood, and the workmen 
muft be brought together from a diftance. Their affo- 
ciation muft therefore be more cared for by the public. 


When Englifh Free Mafonry was carried into Ger- 
many, it was hofpitably received. It required little ef- 
fort to give it refpeftability, and to make it the occupa- 
tion of a gentleman, and its fecrets and myfteries were 
not fuch novelties as in France. It fpread rapidly, and 
the fimple topic of Brotherly love was fufficient for re- 
commending it to the honeft and hofpitable Germans. 
But it foon took a very different turn. The German 
charafter is the very oppofite of frivolity. It tends to 
ferioufnefs, and requires ferious occupation. The Ger- 
mans are eminent for their turn for inveftigation ; and 
perhaps they indulge this to excefs. We call them 
plodding and dull, becaufe we have little relifh for en- 
quiry for its own fake. But this is furely the occupa- 
tion of a rational nature, and defcrves any name butftu- 
pidity. At the fame time it mull be acknowledged, that 
the fpirit of enquiry requires regulation as much as any 
propenfity of the human mind. But it appears that the 
Germans are not nice in their choice of their objeds ; 
it appears that iingularity, and wonder, and difficulty of 
refearch, are to them irrefiftible recommendations and 
incitements. They haive always exhibited a ftrong hank- 
ering after every thing that is wonderful, or folemn, or 
terrible ; and in fpite of the great progrefs which men 
have made in the courie of thefe two laft centuries, in 
the knowledge of nature, a progrefs too in which we 
Ihould be very unjull if we did not acknowledge that 
the Germans have been generally in the foremoft ranks, 
the grofs abfurdities of magic, exorcifm, witchcraft, for- 
tune-telling, tranfmutation of metals, and univerfal me- 
dicine, have always had their zealous partizans, who 
have liftened with greedy ears to the nonfenfe and 
jargon of fanatics and cheats ; and though they every 
day faw examples of many who had been ruined or ren- 
deied ridiculous by their credulity, every new pietender 


to fecrets found numbers ready to liften to him, and to 
run over the fame courfe. 

Free MafonryjprofeffingmyfterieSjinftantly roufedall 
thefe people, and the Lodges appeared to the adventurers 
V'ho wanted to profit by the enthufiafm or the avarice of 
-their dupes, the fitteft places in the world for the fcene 
of their operations. The Rofycrucians were the firft 
who availed themfelves of the opportunity. This was 
not the Society which had appeared formerly under that 
name, and was now extinft ; but a fet of Alchymifts, pre- 
tenders to the tranfmutation of metals and the univerfal 
medicine, who, the better to inveigle their votaries, had 
mixed with their own tricks a good deal of the abfurd 
fupcrftitions of that fetl, in order to give a greater air of 
my fiery to the whole, to protract the time of inftrutiion, 
and to afford more room for evqfions, by making fo ma- 
ny difficult conditions neceffary for perfefting the grand 
work, that the unfortunate gull, W'ho had thrown away 
his time and his money, might believe diat the failure 
was owing to his own incapacity or unfitnefs for being 
the pofTelTor of the grand fecret. Thefe cheats found 
it convenient to make iMafonry one of their conditions, 
and by a fmall degree of art, perfuaded their pupils that 
they were the only true Mafons. Thefe Rofycrucian 
Lodges w^ere foon eflabliflred, and becam.e numerous, 
becaufe their myfteries were addreffed, both to the cu- 
riofity, the fenfuality, and the avarice of men. They 
became a veiy formidable band, adopting the conftitu- 
tion of the Jefuits, dividing the Fraternity into circles, 
each under the management of its own fuperior, known 
to the prefident, but unknown to the individuals of the 
Lodges. Thefe fuperiors were conne8:ed with each 
other in a w^ay known only to themfelves, and the whole 
vas under one General. At lead this is the account 


v.'hich they wifli to be believed. If it be juft, nothing 
but the abfurdity of the oftenfible motives of their occu- 
pations could have prevented this combination from 
carrying on fchemes big with hazard to the peace of the 
world. But the Rofycrucian Lodges have always been 
confidered by other Free Mafons as bad Societies, and 
as grofs fchifmatics. This did not hinder, however, their 
alchemical and medical fecrets from being frequently 
introduced into the Lodges of fimple Free Mafonry ; 
and in like manner, exorcifm, or ghoft-raifing, magic, 
and other grofs fuperftitions, were often held out in 
their meetings as attainable myfteries, which would be 
immenfe acquifitions to the Fraternity, without any ne- 
cefTity of admitting along with them the religious deliri- 
ums of the Rofycrucians. 

In 1743, a Baron Hunde, a gentleman of honorable 
chara6ler and independent fortune, was in Paris, and 
got acquainted with the Earl of Kilmarnock and fome 
other gentlemen who were about the Pretender, and 
learned from them that they had fome wonderful fecrets 
in their Lodges. He was admitted, through the medium 
of that nobleman, and of a Lord Clifford, and his Ma- 
fonic patent was figned George (faid to be the fignature 
of Kilmarnock). Hunde had attached himfelf to the 
fortunes of the Pretender, in hopes (as he fays himfelf) 
of rifmg in the world under his prote61ion. The migh- 
ty fecret was this. " When the Order of Knights Tem- 
plars was aboliflied by Philip the Fair, and cruelly per- 
fecutcd, fome worthy perfons efcaped, and took refuge 
. in the Highlands of Scotland, where they concealed 
. themfelves in caves. Thefe perfons poflefTed the true 
fecrets of Mafonry, which had always been in that Or- 
. der, having been acquired by the Knights, during their 
. , H 


fervices in the Eaft, from the pilgrims whom they occa- 
fionally prote6led or delivered. The Chevaliers de la 
Rofe-Croix continued to have the fame duties as for- 
merly, though robbed of their emoluments. In fine, 
every true Mafon is a Knight Templar." It is very 
true that a clever fancy can accommodate the ritual of 
reception of the Chevalier de /' Epee, Sec. to fomething 
like the inftitution of the Knights Templars, and per- 
haps this explanation of young Zerobabel's pilgrimage, 
and of the rebuilding of the Temple by Ezra, is the 
moft fignificant explanation that has been given of the 
meagre fymbols of Free Mafonry. 

When Baron Hunde returned to Germany, he exhi- 
bited to fome friends his extenfive powers for propagat- 
ing this fyftem of Mafonry, and made a few Knights. 
But he was not very aftive. Probably the failure of the 
Pretender s attempt to recover the throne of his anceftors 
had put an end to Hunde's hopes of making a figure. 
In the mean time Free Mafonry was cultivated with 
zeal in Germany, and many adventurers found their ad- 
vantage in fupporting particular fchifms. 

But in 1756, or 1757, a complete revolution took 
place. The French officers who were prifoners at 
large in Berlin, undertook, with the aifurance' peculiar 
to their nation, to inftru6l the fimple Germans in every 
thing that embellifhes fociety. They faid, that the 
homefpun Free Mafonry, which had been imported 
from England, was fit only for the unpolifhed minds of 
the Britifii ; but that in France it had grown into an 
elegant fyftem, fit for the profeffion of Gendemen. 
Nay, they faid, that the Engliili were ignorant of true 
Mafonry, and poffefied nothing but the introdudion to 
it ; and even this was not underftood by them. When 


the ribbands and ftars, widi which the French had orna- 
mented the Order, were fhown to the Gernjans, they 
could not refift the enchantment. A Mr. Rofa, a French 
commifTary, brought from Paris a complete waggonr 
load of Mafonic ornaments, which were all diftributed 
before it had reached Berlin, and he was obliged to or- 
der another, to furniili the Lodges of that city. It be.- 
came for a while a mod profitable bufmefs to many 
French officers and commifiaries difperfed over Germa- 
ny, having nothing elfe to do. Fvery body gaped for 
inftruclion, and thefe kind teachers were always ready 
to beftow it. In half a year Free Mafonry underwent 
a complete revolution all over Germany, and Cheva- 
liers multiplied without number. The Rofaic fyftem 
was a gofpel to the Mafons, and the poor Britifh fyf- 
tem was defpifed. But the new Lodges of Berlin, as 
they had been the teachers of the whole empire, want- 
ed alfo to be the governors, and infilled on complete 
fubjeftion from all the others. This ftartled the Free 
Mafons at a diftance, and awaked them from their gol- 
den dreams. Now began a ftruggle for dominion and for 
independency. This made the old Lodges think a little 
about the whole affair. The refult of this was a coun- 
ter revolution. Though no man could pretend diat he 
underftood the true meaning of Free Mafonry, its ori- 
gin, its hiftory, or its real aim, all faw that the interpre- 
tations of their hieroglyphics, and the rituals of the new 
degrees imported from France, were quite gratuitous. 
It appeared, therefore, that the fafeft thing for them 
was an appeal to the birth-place of Mafonry. They 
fent to London for inftruclions. There they learned, 
that nodiing was acknowledged for genuine unibphifti- 
cated Mafonry but the three degrees ; and that the mo- 
ther Lodge of London alone could, by her inllruclions, 
prevent the moll dangerous fcihifjii^ and mnovations. 


Many Lodges, therefore, applied for patents and in- 
ftru6lions. Patents were eadly made out, and molt 
willingly fent to the zealous Brethren ; and thefe were 
thankfully received and paid for. But inftru6lion was 
not fo eafy a matter. At that time we had nothing but 
the book of conftitutions, drawn up about 1720, by 
Anderfon and Defaguilliers, two perfons of little edu- 
cation, and of low manners, who had aimed at little 
miore than making a pretext, not altogether contempti- 
ble, for a convivial meeting. This, however, was re- 
ceived with refpeft. We are apt to fmile at grave men's 
being fatished with fuch coarfe and fcanty fare. But it 
was of ufe, merely becaufe it gave an oftenfible reafon 
for refilling the defpotifm of the Lodges of Berlin. Se- 
veral refpe6lable Lodges, particularly that of Frankfort 
on the Mayne, that of Brunfwick, that of Wetziar, and 
the Royal York of Berlin, reiblutely adhered to the 
lEnglifti fyftem, and denied themfelves all the enjoyment 
of the French degrees, rather than acknowledge the fu- 
premacy of the Rofaic Lodges of Berlin, 

About the year 1764 a new revolution took place. 
An adventurer, who called himfelf Johnfon, and paf- 
fed himfelf for an Englifhman, but who was really a 
German or Bohemian named Leucht, faid that he was 
ambaflador from the Chapter of Knights Templars at 
Old Aberdeen in Scodand, fent to teach the Germans 
•what was true Mafonry. He pretended to tranfmute 
metals, and fome of the Brethren declared that they had 
feen him do it repeatedly. This reached Baron Hunde 
and brought back all his former enthufiafm. There is 
fomething very dark in this part of the hiftory ; for in a 
little Johnfon told his partifans that the only point he 
had to inform them of was, that Baron Hunde was the 
Grand Mafter of the 7th province of Mafonry, which 


included the whole of Germany, and the royal domi- 
nions of Prufiia. He ftiov.'ed them a map of the Mafo- 
nic Empire arranged into provinces, each of which had 
diRinCTuifhinff emblems. Thefe are all taken from an 
old forgotten and infignificant book, Typotii Symbola 
Divina et Humana^ publillied in 1601. There is not 
the leaft trace in this book either of Mafonry or Temp- 
lars, and the emblems are taken out without the fmalleit 
ground of fele6lion. Some inconiillency with the for- 
mer magnificent promifes of Johnfon ftartlcd them at 
firft, but they acquiefced and fubmitted to Baron Hunde 
as Grand Mafter of Germany. Soon after Johnfon 
turned out to be a cheat, efcaped, was taken, and put 
in prifon, where he died. Yet this feems not to have 
ruined the credit of Baron Hunde. He ereited Lodges, 
gave a few fimple inftru6lions, all in the fyftem of En- 
glifh Mafonry, and promifed, that when they had ap- 
proved themfelves as good Mafons, he would then im- 
part the mighty fecret. After two or three years of no- 
viciate, a convention was held at Altenbcrg ; and he 
told them that his whole fecret was, that every true Ma- 
Jon was a Knight Templar. They were altonilhcd, and 
difappointed ; for they expefted in general that he would 
teach them the philofopher's (tone, or gholl-raiiing, or 
magic. After much difcontent, falling^ out, and dif- 
pute, many Lodges united in this fyftem, made fome- 
what moderate and palatable, under the name of the 
Strict Disciplinarians, .SYrzci^fji Obfervanz. It 
was acceptable to many, becaufe they iniilted that they 
were really Knights, properly confecrated, though with- 
out temporalities ; and they ferioufly fet themfelves 
about forming a fund which (hould fecure the order in a 
landed property and revenue, which would give them a 
refpeftable civil exiftence. Hunde declared that his 
whole ellatc fhould devolve on the Order. But the 


vexations which he afterwards met with, and his falling 
in love wuh a lady who prevailed on him to become Ro- 
man Catholic, made him alter this intention. The Or- 
der went on, however, and acquired confiderable cre- 
dit by the ferious regularity of their proceedings ; and, 
although in the mean time a new apolile of Myileries, a 
Dr. Zinzendoiff, one of the Strict Obfervanz, intro- 
duced a new fyftem, which he faid was from Sweden, 
diftmguiflied by fome of the myftical doarines of the 
Swedenborgh feci, and though this fyftem obtained the 
Royal patronage, and a National Lodge was eftabliflied 
at Berlin by patent, {till the Tempelorden, or Orden da 
Striclen Obfervanz, continued to be very refpeftable. 
The German gentry were better pleafed with a Grand 
Mafter of their own choohng, than with any impofed on 
them by authority. 

, During this flate of things, one Stark, a Proteftant 
divine, well known in Germany by his writings, made 
another trial of public faith. One Gugomos (a pri- 
vate gentleman, but who would pafs for fon to a King 
of Cyprus) and one Schropfer, keeper of a coffee- 
houfe at Nuremberg, drew crowds of Free Mafons 
around them, to learn ghoft-raihng, exorcifm, and al- 
chymy. Numbers came from a great diftance to Weif- 
bad to fee and learn thefe myfteries, and Free Mafonry 
was on the point of another revolution. Dr. Stark was 
an adept in all thefe things, and contended with Cagli- 
oitro in Coarland for the palm of fuperiority. He faw 
that this deception could not long ftand its ground. 
He therefore came forward, at a convention at Braunfch- 
weig in 1772, and faid to the Stria Difciplinarians or 
Templars, That he was of their Order, but of the fpi- 
ritual department, and was deputed by the Chapter of 
K— m— d— t in Scotland, where he was Chancellor pf 


the Congregation, and had the name of Archidemides, 
Eqiies ab Aquilafulva : That this Chapter had the fu- 
perintendance of the Order : That they alone could 
confecrate the Knights, or the unknown fuperiors; and 
that he was deputed to inflru6i them in the real princi- 
ples of the Order, and impart its ineftimable fecrets, 
which could not be known to Baron Hunde, as he 
would readily acknowledge when he fhould converfe 
with him. Johnfon, he faid, had been a cheat, and 
probably a murderer. He had got fome knowledge 
from papers which he muft have ftolen from a mifTio- 
nary, who had difappeared, and was probably killed. 
Gugomos and Schropfer mud have had fome hmilar in- 
formation ; and Schropfer had even deceived him for a 
tim.e. He was ready to execute his commiffion, upon 
their coming under the neceffary obligations of fecrccy 
and of fubmiffion. Hunde (whofe name in the Order 
was the Eques ab E'njc) acquiefced at once, and propo- 
fed a convention, with full powers to decide and accepr. 
But a, Schubart, a gentleman of charafler, M'ho was 
treafurer to the Templar Mafons, and had an employ- 
ment which crave him confiderable influence in the Or- 
der, ftrongly diffuaded them from fuch a meafure. The 
moft unqualified fubmiffion to unknown fuperiors, and 
to conditions equally unknown, was required previous 
to the fmalleft communication, or any knowledge of 
the powers which Archidemides had to treat with them. 
Many meetings were held, and m.any attempts were 
made to learn fomething of this fpiritual court, and of 
what they might expeO: from diem. Dr. Stark, Baron 
Weggenfak, Baron Von Raven, and fome others of 
his coadjutors in the Lodges at Koningfnerg in Pruffia, 
and at»Wifmar, were received into the Order. But in 
vain — nothing was obtained from thefc ghoflly Knights 
but fome infignificant ceremonials of rGceptions add 


confccrations. Of this kind of novelties they were al- 
ready heartily fick ; and though they all panted after 
the expeftcd wonders, they were fo much frightened 
by the unconditional fubmifTion, that they could come 
to no agreement, and the fecrets of the Scotch Congre- 
gation of K — m — d — t ftill remain with Dr. Stark. 
They did, however, a fenhble thing; they fent a depu- 
tation to Old Aberdeen, to enquire after the caves 
where their venerable -my fteries where known, and their 
treafures were hid. They had, as they thought, me- 
rited fome more confidence ; for they had remitted an- 
nual contributions to thefe unknown fuperiors, to the 
amount of fome thoufands of rix-dollars. But alas, 
their ambafladors found the Free Mafons of Old Aber- 
deen ignorant of all this, and as eager to learn from the 
ambaffadors what was the tnie origin and meaning of 
Free Mafonry, of which they knew nothing but the 
limple tale of Old Hiram. This broke Stark's credit; 
but he ftill infifted on the reality of his commiffion, and 
faid that the Brethren at Aberdeen were indeed ignorant, 
but that he had never faid otherwife; their expeftations 
from that quarter had refted on the fcraps purloined by 
Johnfon. He reminded them of a thing well known to 
themfelves ; that one of them had been fent for by a dy- 
ing nobleman to receive papers on this fubjeft, and that 
his vifit having been delayed a few hours by an unavoid- 
able accident, he found all burnt but a fragment of a 
capitulary and a thing in cypher, part of which he (Dr. 
Stark) had explained to them. They had employed 
another gentleman, a H. Wachter, to make fimilar en- 
quiries in Italy, where Schropfer and others (even 
Hunde) had told them great fecrets were to be obtained 
from the Pretender's fecretary Approfi, and others. 
Wachter told them, th&t all this was a fi8ion, but that 
he had feen at Florence fome Brethren from the HoJy 


Land, who really pofleffed wonderful fecrets, which he 
was willing to impart, on proper conditions. Thefe, 
however, they could not accede to ; but they were cru- 
elly tortured by feeing Wachter, who had left Germa- 
ny in fober circumftances, now a man of great wealth 
and expence. He would not acknowledge that he had 
got the fecret of gold-making from the Afiatic Brethren; 
but faid that no man had any right to afl^ him how he 
had come by his fortune. It was enough that he be- 
haved honorably, and owed no man any thing. He 
broke off all connexions with them, and left them in 
great diftrefs about their Order, and panting after his 
fecrets. Rifum tcneatis amici. 

Stark, in revenge for the oppofition he had met with 
from Schubart, left no ftone unturned to hurt him with 
his Brethren, and fucceeded, fo that he left them in dif^ 
guft. Hunde died about this time. A book appeared, 
called. The Stumbling Block and Rock of Ojfence^ which 
betrayed (by their own confeflion) the whole fecrets of 
the Order of Templars, and foon made an end of it, 
as far as it went beyond the fimple Englifti Mafonry. 

Thus was the faith of Free Mafons quite unhinged in 
Germany. But the rage for myfteries and wonder was 
not in the leaft abated ; and the habits of thefe fecret af- 
femblies were becoming every day more craving. Dif- 
fenfion and fchifm was multiplying in every quarter ; 
and the Inllitution, inftead of being an incitement to 
mutual complaifance and Brotherly love, had become a 
fource of contention, and of bitter enmity. Not fatis- 
fied with defending the propriety of its own Inftitutions, 
each Syllem of Free Mafonry was bufy in enticing away 
thepartifans of other Syflems, fhut their Lodges againfi 



each other, and proceeded even to viHfy and perfccute 
the adherents of every Syftem but their own. 

Thefe animofities arofe chiefly from the quarrels 
about precedency, and the arrogance (as it was thought) 
of the patent Lodge of Berlin, in pretending to have 
any authority in the other parts of the Empire. But 
thefe pretenfions were not the refult of mere vanity. 
The French importers of the new degrees, always true 
to the glory of their nation, hoped by this means to fe- 
cure the dependence even of this frivolous Society; per- 
haps they might forefee political ufes and benefits which 
might arife from it. One thing is worth notice : The 
French Lodges had all emanated from the great Confe- 
deration under the Duke de Chartres, and, even if we 
had no other proof, we might prefume that they would 
cultivate the fame principles that chara6lerifed that Seft. 
But we are certain that infidelity and laxity of moral 
principles were prevalent in the Rofaic Lodges, and 
that the obfervation of this corruption had offended many 
of the fober oldfafhioned Lodges, and was one great 
caufe of any check that w^as given to the brilliant Ma- 
fonry of France. It is the obfervation of this circum- 
ftance, in which they all refembled, and which foon 
ceafed to be a diftinftion, becaufe it pervaded the other 
Lodges, that induced me to expatiate more on this hif- 
tory of Free Mafonry in Germany, than may appear to 
my readers to be adequate to the importance of Free 
Mafonry in the general fubj eft-matter of thefe pages. 
But I hope that it will appear in the courfe of my nar- 
ration that I have not given it greater value than it de- 

About this very time there was a great revolution of 
the public mind in Germany, and fcepticifra, infidelity,. 


andirreligion, not only were prevalent in the minds and 
manners of the wealthy and luxurious, and of the pro^ 
fligate of lower ranks, but began to appear in the prd- 
du6lions of the prefs. Some circumftances, peculiar to 
Germany, occafioned thefe declenfrons from the former 
acquiefcence in the faith of their forefathers to become 
more uniform and remarkable than they would other- 
wife have been. The Confeffions of Germany are the 
Roman Catholic, the Lutheran (which they call Pro- 
teftant) and the Calvinift (which they call Reformed}. 
Thefe are profeffed in many fmall contiguous principa- 
lities, and there is hardly one of them in which all the 
three have not free exercife. The delire of making; 
profelytes is natural to all (erious profelfors of a rational 
faith, and was frequently exercifed. The Roman Ca- 
tholics are fuppofed by us to be particularly zealous ; 
and the Proteftants (Lutherans and Calvinilts) wem 
careful to oppofe them by every kind of argument, 
among which thofe of ridicule and reproach were not 
fpared. The Catholics accufed them of infidelity re- 
fpefting the fundamental doftrines of Chriftianity which 
they profeffed to believe, and even with refpeft to the 
■doftrines of natural religion. This accufation was long 
very flightly fupported ; but, of late, by better proofs. 
The fpirit of free inquiry was the great boaft of the Pro- 
teftants, and their only fupport againft the Catholics, 
fecuring them both in their religious and civil rights. 
It was therefore fupported by their governments. It is 
not to be wondered at that it fhould be indulged toex- 
cefs, or improperly, even by ferious men, liable to er- 
ror, in their difputes with the Catholics. In the pro- 
grefs of this conteft, even their own ConfefTion did not 
efcape criticifm, and it was alferted that the Reforma- 
tion which thofe ConfelTions exprefs was not complete, 
i'urther Reformations were propofed. The Scriptures^ 


the foundation of our faith, were examined by clergjf- 
men of very different capacities, difpofitions, and views, 
till by explaining, correding, allegorifing, and other- 
wife twifting the Bible, men's minds had hardly any thing 
left to reft on as a doftrine of revealed religion. This 
encoyraged others to go farther, and to fay that revela- 
tion was a folecifm, as plainly appeared by the irrecon- 
cileable differences among thefe Enlighteners (fo they 
were called) of the public, and that man had nothing to 
truft to but the diftates of natural reafon. Another fet 
of writers, proceeding from this as a point already fet- 
tled, profcribed all religion whatever, and openly taught 
the doftrines of materialifm and atheifm. Moft of 
thefe innovations were the work of Proteftant divines, 
from the caufes that I have mentioned. Teller, Semler, 
Eberhardt, Leffing, Bahrdt, Riem, and Shultz, had 
the chief hand in all thefe innovations. But no man 
contributed more than Nicholai, an eminent and learn- 
ed bookfeller in Berlin. He has been for many years 
the publiftier of a periodical work, called the General 
German Library (Algemcin deutfche Biblicdhck) confift- 
ing of original diflertations, and reviews of the writings 
of others. The great merit of this work, on account of 
many learned diflertations which appear in it, has pro- 
cured it great influence on that clafs of readers whofe lei- 
fure or capacity did not allow them a more profound 
kind of reading. This is the bulk of readers in every 
country. Nicholai gives a decided preference to the 
writings of the Enlighteners, and in his reviews treats 
them with particular notice, makes the public fully ac- 
quainted with their works, and makes the mofi: favora- 
ble comments ; whereas the performances of their oppo- 
nents, or more properly fpeaking, the defenders of the 
National Creeds, are negleBed, omitted, or barely men- 
tionedj or they are criticifcd with every feverity of ridi- 


ciile and reproach. He fell upoa a very fare method 
of rendering the orthodox v/riters difa^^reeabie to tke 
public, by reprefenting them as the abetters of fuperfti- 
tioR, and as fecret Jefuits. lie allerts, that the aboli- 
tion of the Order of Loyola is only apparent. The 
Brethren ftill retain their connc6tion, and mod part of 
their property, under the fecret patronage of Catholic 
Princes. They are, therefore, in every corner, in every 
habit and chara6ier, working with unwearied zeal for 
the reftoration of their empire. He raifed a general 
alarm, and made a journey through Germany, hunting 
for Jefuits, and for this purpofe, became Free Mafon 
and Rofycrucian, being introduced by his friends Ge- 
dicke and Biefler, clergymen, publifhers of the Berlin 
Monatfchrift, and molt zealous promoters of the new 
doctrines. This favor he has repaid at his return, by 
betraying the myfterics of the Lodges, and numberlefs 
falfehoods. His journey was publi Hied in feveral vo- 
lumes, and is full of frightful Jefuitifms. This man, as 
I have faid, found the greatefl fuccefs in his method of 
flandering the defenders of Bible-Chriflianity, by repre- 
fenting them as concealed Jefuits. But, not contented 
with open difcuffion, he long ago publilhed a fort of 
romance, called Sebaldus Noihanker, in which thefe di- 
vines are introduced under feigned names, and made 
as ridiculous and deleflable as poiTible. All this v*fas a 
good trading job ; for fceptical and free-thinking wri- 
tings have every where a good market ; and Nicholai 
was not only reviewer, but publiilier, having preli'es in 
different cities of the Empire. The immenfe literary 
manufa61:urc of Germany, far exceeding that of any na- 
tion of Europe, is carried on in a very particular way. 
The books go in fheets to the great fairs of Leipfic and 
Frankfort, nvice a-year. The book lellers. meet there, 
and fee at one glance the Rate of literature ; and having 


fpeculated and made their bargains, the books are in- 
itantly difperfed through every part of the Empire, and 
appear at once in all quarters. Although every Princi- 
pality has an officer for iicenfmg, it is impoffible to pre- 
vent the currency of a performance, although it may be 
prohibited ; for it is to be had by the carrier at three or 
four miles diflance in another Hate. By this mode of 
traffic, a plot may be formed, and a6lually has been 
formed, for giving any particular turn to the literature 
of the country. There is an excellent work printed at 
Bern by the author Heinzmann, a bookfeller, called, 
Appeal to my Country^ concerning a Combination ojWri- 
ters, and Bookfellers, to rule the Literature of Germany, 
end form the public mind into a contempt for the religion 
and civil efiablijhments of the Empire. It contains a 
hiftorical account of the publications in every branch of 
literature for about thirty years. The author fhows, in 
the moft convincing manner, that the prodigious change 
from the former fatisfaftion of the Germans on thofe 
fubjefts to their prefcnt difcontent and attacks from eve- 
ry quarter, is neither a fair picture of the prevailing fen- 
timents, nor has been the iimple operation of things, 
but the refult of a combination of tradin^r Infidels. 


I have here fomewhat anticipated (for I hope to 
point out the fources of this combination,) becaufe it 
helps to explain or illuftrate the progrefs of infidelity 
and irreligion that I was fpeaking of. It was much ac- 
celerated by another circumftance. One Bafedow, a 
man of talents and learning, fet up, in the Principality 
of Anhalt-Deffau, a Pin lanthropin e, or academy 
of general education, on a plan extremely different from 
thofe of the Univerfities and Academies. By this ap- 
pellation, the founder hoped to make parents expe£l that 
much attention would be paid to the morals of the pu- 


piis } and indeed the programs or advertifements by 
which Bafcdow announced his inllitution to the public, 
defcribed it as the profefied feminary of praftical Ethics. 
Languages, fciences, and the ornamental exercifes, 
were here coniidered as mere acceffories, and the great 
aim was to form the young mind to the love of man- 
kind and of virtue, by a plan of moral education whick 
was very fpccious and unexceptionable. But there was 
a circumflance which greatly obftrufled the wide prof- 
pefts of the founder. How were the religious opinions 
of the youth to be cared for ? Catholics, Lutherans, 
and Calvinifts, were almofl: equally numerous in the 
adjoining Principahties ; and the exclufion of any two 
of thefe communions would prodigioufly limit the pro- 
pofed ufefulnefs of the inftitution. Bafedow was a man 
of talents, a good fcholar, and a perfuafive writer. He 
framed afet of rules, by v/hich the educatiorv Ihould be 
conduced, and which, he thought, fhould make every 
parent cafy ; and the plan is very judicious and manly. 
But none came but Lutherans, His zeal and intereil 
in the thing made him endeavour to interell others ; and 
he found this no hard matter. The people of condition, 
and all fenfible men, faw that it would be a very great 
advantage to the place, could they induce men to fend 
their children from all the neighbouring dates. What 
v/e wifh, we readily believe to be the truth ; and Bafe- 
dow's plan and reafonings appeared complete, and had 
the fupport of all claffes of men. The m©derate Cal- 
vinifts, after fome time, were not averfe from them, and 
the literary manufafture of Germany was foon very bu- 
fy in making pamphlets, defending, improving, attack- 
ing and reprobating the plans. Innumerable were the 
projects for moderating the diffeiTnces between the 
three Chriftian communions of Germany, and making 
it poflible for the members of them all, not only to li^ 



amicably among each other, and to worfhip God in the 
fame church, but even to communicate together. This 
attempt naturally gave rife to much fpeculation and re- 
finement; and the propofals for amendment of the for- 
mulas and the inftruftions from the pulpit were profe- 
tuted with fo much keennefs, that the ground-work, 
Chriiiianity, was refined and refined, till it vaniflied 
altogether, leaving Deifm, or Natural, or, as it was 
called, Philofophical Religion, in its place. I am not 
much miftaken as to hiftorical fa8:, when I fay, that 
the aftoniiliing change in religious doftrine which has 
taken place in Proteftant Germany within thefe lafl 
thirty years was chiefly occafioned by this fcheme of 
Bafedow's. The pre-difpoling caufes exifted, indeed, 
and were general and powerful, and the diforder had 
already broken out. But this fpecious and enticing 
objeft firll gave a title to Proteftant clergymen to put to 
their hand without rifle of being cenfured. 

Bafedow correBed, and corre6led again, but not one 
Catholic came to the Philanthropine. Jle Teems to have 
thought that the belt plan would be, to banifn all pofi- 
tive religion whatever, and that he would then be fure 
of Catholic fcholars. Cardinal Dubois was fo far right 
with refpeB. to the firfl Catholic pupil of the church. 
He had recommended a man of his own ftamp to Louis 
XIV. to fill fome important office. The monarch was 
aftonifiied, and told the Cardinal, that " that would 
never do, for the man was a Janfenift ; Eh ! que ncn, 
Sire,'' faid the Cardinal, ''• il nejl qu" Aihee ;" all was 
fafe, and the man got the priory. But though all was 
in vain, Bafedow's Philanthropine at Deffau got a high 
charafter. He piiblifhed many volumes on education 
that have much merit. 


' It were well had this been all. But moft unfortu- 
nately, though moft naturally, writers of loofe moral 
principles and of wicked hearts were encouraged by the 
impunity which the fceptical writers experienced, and 
ventured to publifli things of the vileft tendency, inflam- 
ing the paflions and j uftifying licentious manners. Thefe 
maxims are congenial with irreligion and Atheifm, and 
the books found a quick market. It was chiefly in the 
Pruflian States that this w^ent on. The late King was, 
to fay the beft of him, a naturalift, and, holding this 
life for his all, gave full liberty to his fubje6ls to write 
what they plea fed, provided they did not touch on ftate 
matters. He declared, however, to a minifter of his 
court, long before his death, that " he was extremely 
forry that his indiff'erence had produced fuch effe6ls ; 
that he was fenfible it had greatly contributed to hurt 
the peace and mutual good treatment of his fubjefts;" 
and he faid, " that he would willingly give up the glory 
of his beft fought battle, to have the fatisfaftion of leav- 
ing his -^.eople in the fame ftate of peace and fatisfaftion 
with their religious eftablifliments, that he found them 
in at his acceflion to the throne." His fucceflbr Frede- 
rick William found that things had gone much too far, 
and determined to fupport the church eftabliftiment in 
the moft peremptory manner ; but at the fame time to 
allow perfed freedom of thinking and converfmg to the 
profeftbrs of every chriftian faith, provided it was en- 
joyed without difturbing the general peace, or any en- 
croachment on the rights of thofe already fupported by 
law. He publiflied an edi6l to this effeft, which is re- 
ally a model worthy of imitation in evtry country. 
This was the epoch of a ftrange revolution. It was at- 
tacked from all hands, and criticifms, fatires, flanders, 
threatenings, poured in from every quarter. The in- 



dependency of the neighbouring ftates, and the mo- 
narch's not being a great favorite among feveral of his 
neighbours, permitied the publication of thefe pieces in 
the adjoining principalities, and it was impoffible to 
prevent their circulation even in the Pruffian States. 
His ediO: was called an unjuftifiable tyranny over the 
confciences of men ; the dogmas fupported by it, were 
called abfurd fuperftitions ; the King's private charader, 
and his opinions in religious matters, were treated with 
little /everence, nay, were ridiculed and fcandaloufly 
abufed. This field of difcuilion being thus thrown 
open, the writers did not confine themfelves to religious 
matters. After flatly denying that the prince of any 
country had the fmalleft right to prefcribe, or even di- 
reO. the faith of his fubjeQs, they extended their difcuf- 
fions to the rights of princes in general ; and now they 
fairly opened their trenches, and made an attack in form 
on the conftitutions of the German confederacy, and 
after the ufual approaches, they fet up the ftandard of 
univerfal citizenfliip on the very ridge of the glacis, and 
fummoned the fort to furrender. The moft daring of 
thefe attacks was a colleBion of anonymous letters on 
the conftitution of the Pruffian States. It was printed 
(or faid to be fo) at Utrecht ; but by comparing the 
faults of fome types with fome books printed in Berlin, 
it v/as fuppofed by all to be the produ6tion of one of 
Nicholai's preffes. It was thought to be the compofi- 
tion of Mirabeau. It is certain that he wrote a French 
tranflation, with a preface and notes, more impudent 
than the work itfelf. The monarch was declared to be 
a tyrant j the people are addreffed as a parcel of tame 
wretches crouching under oppreffion. The people of 
Silefia are reprefented as flill in a worfe condition, and 
are repeatedly called to roufe themfelves, and to rife up 
and aflert their rights. The King is told, that there is a 



combination of philofophers (conjuration) who are 
leagued together in defence of truth and reafon, and 
which no power can withftand ; that they are to be found 
in every country, and are conneBed by mutual and fo- 
lemn engagement, and will put in pratlice every mean 
of attack. Enlightening, inftru6lion, was the general 
cry among the writers. The triumph of reafon over 
error, the overthrow of fuperftition and flavifli fear, 
freedom from religious and political prejudices, and 
the eftablifhment of Hberty and equality, the natural and 
unalienable rights of man, were the topics of general de- 
clamation ; and it was openly maintained, that fecret fo- 
cieties, where the communication of fentiment fhould 
be free from every reltraint, was the mod effe6lual 
mean for inftruding and enlightening the world. 

And thus it appears, that Germany has experienced 
the fame gradual progrefs, from Religion to Atheifm, 
from decency to diflblutenefs, and from loyalty to re- 
bellion, which has had its courfe in France. And I 
muft now add, that this progrefs has been effefted in 
the fame manner, and by the fame means ; and that 
one of the chief means of fedu£lion has been the Lodges 
of the Free Mafons. The French, along with their 
numerous chevalcries, and ftars, and ribbands, had brought 
in the cuftom of haranguing in the Lodges, and as hu- 
man nature has aconliderable uniformity every where, 
the fame topics became favorite fubje8:s of declamation 
that had tickled the ear in France ; there were the lame 
corruptions of fentiments and manners among the luxu- 
rious or profligate, and the fame incitements to the ut- 
terance of thefe fentiments, wherever it could be done 
with fafety ; and I may fay, that the zealots in all thefe 
tracts of free-thinking were more ferious, more grave, 
and fanatical. Thefe are not afltrtions apriori. I can 


produce proofs. There was a Baron Knigge refiding at 
that time in the neighbourhood of Frankfort, of whom 
I fhall afterwards have occafion frequently to fprak. 
This man was an enthufiaft in Mafonry from his youth, 
and had run througli every pofTible degree of it. He 
was diffatisfied with them all, and particularly with the 
frivolity of the French chivalry ; but he flill believed 
that Mafonry contained invaluable fecrets. He ima- 
gined that he faw a glimpfe of them in the cofmo-poli- 
tical and fceptical difcourfes in their Lodges ; he fat 
down to meditate on thefe, and foon coUeBed his 
thoughts, and found that thofe French orators v.'crc right 
without knowing it ; and that Mafonry was pure natu- 
ral religion and univerfal citizenfhip, and that this was 
alfo true Chriftianity. In this faith he immediately be- 
gan his career of Brotherly love, and publiflied three 
volumes of fermons ; the firft and third publifhed at 
Frankfort, and the fecond at Heidelberg, but without 
his name. Hepublifliedalfo a popular fyftem of reli- 
gion. In all thefe publications, of which there are ex- 
trafts in the Religions Begchenheiten^ Chriftianity is con- 
fidered as a mere allegory, or a Mafonic type of natu- 
ral religion ; the moral duties are fpun into the com- 
mon-place declamations of univerfal benevolence ; and 
the attention is continually direfted to the abfurdities 
flnd horrors of fupcrftition, the fufferings of the poor, 
the tvrannv and oppreffion of the great, the tricks of the 
priefts, and the indolent fimplicity and patience of the 
laity and of the common people. The happinefs of the 
patriarchal life, and fweets of univerfal equality and 
freedom, are the burden of every paragraph ; and the 
general tenor of the whole is to make men difcontented 
with their condition of civil fubordiuation,. and the re- 
ftraints of revealed religion. 


All the proceedings of Knigge in the Mafbnic fchifms 
fhow that he was a zealous apoftle of cofmo-politifra, 
and that he was continually deahng with people in the 
Lodges who were alfociated with him in ])ropagating 
thefe notions among the Brethren ; fo that we are cer- 
tain that fuch converfations were common in the Ger- 
man Lodges. 

When the reader con-iders all thefe circum (lances, he 
■will abate of that furprife which naturally aiFeCls a Bri- 
ton, when he reads accounts of conventions for difcuf- 
fmg and lixing the dogmatic tenets of Free Mafonry. 
The perfeft freedom, civil and religious, which we en- 
joy in this happy country, being familiar to every man, 
we indulge it with calmncfs and moderation, and fecret 
affemblies hardly differ from the common meetings of 
friends and neighbours. We do not forget the expedi- 
ency of civil fubordination, and of thofe diRinfctions 
which arife from fecure pofTeffion of our rights, and the 
gradual accumulation of die comforts of life in the fami- 
lies of the fober and indullrious. Thefe have, by pru- 
dence and a refpeftable ccconomy, preferved the acqui- 
fitions of their anceftors. Every man feels in his own 
breaft the flrong call of nature to procure for hirafelf 
and his children, by every honed and commendable ex- 
ertion, the means of public confideration and refpeQ. 
No man is fo totally without fpirit, as not to think the 
better of his condition when he is come of creditable pa- 
rents, and has creditable conne6:ions ; and widiout think- 
ing that he is in any refped generous, he prefumcs that 
others have the fame fentim.ents, and therefore allows 
the moderate expreflion of them, without thinking it in- 
folence or hauglitinefs. All thefe things are familiar, 
are not thought of, and we enjoy them as we enjoy ordi- 
nary health, without perceiving it. But in the fame man- 


ner as a young man who has been long confined hy fick- 
nefs, exults in returning health, and is apt to riot in the 
enjoyment of what he fo diftinftly feels ; fo thofe who 
are under continual check in open fociety, feel this 
emancipation in thefe hidden afiemblies, and indulge 
with eagernefs in the expreffion of fentiments which in 
public they mud fmother within their own breaft. Such 
meetings, therefore, have a zeft that is very alluring, 
and they .are frequented with avidity. There is no coun- 
try in Europe where this kind of enjoyment is fo poig- 
nant as in Germany. Very infignificant principalities 
have the fame rank in the General Federation with very 
extenfive dominions. The internal conftitution of each 
petty ftate being modelled in nearly the fame manner, 
the official honors of their little courts become ludi- 
crous and even farcical. The Geheim Hofrath, the 
Hofmarefchal, and all the Kammerhers of a Prince, 
whofe dominions do not equal the eftates of many En- 
glifh Squires, caufe the whole to appear like the play of 
children, and muR give frequent occafion for difcontent 
and ridicule. Mafon Lodges even keep this alive. The 
fraternal equality profefied in them is very flattering to 
thofe who have not fucceeded in the fcramble for civil 
diflinQions. Such perfons become the moft zealous 
Mafons, and generally obtain the aclive offices in the 
Lodges, and have an opportunity of treating with au- 
thority perfons whom in public fociety they mult look 
up to with fome refpeO;. 

Thefe confiderations account, in fome meafure, for 
the importance which Free Mafonry has acquired in 
Germanv. For a long while the hopes of learning fome 
wonderful fecret made a German Baron think nothing 
of long and expenfive journics in queft of fome new 
degree. Of late, the cofmo-political doclrines encou- 


raged and propagated in the Lodges, and feme hopes of 
producing a Revolution in fociety, by which men of ta- 
lents fhould obtain the management of public affairs, 
feem to be the caufe of ail the zeal with which the or- 
der is flill cheriihed and promoted. In a periodical 
work, publifhed at Neuwied, called Algemcin Zeitung 
der Freymaurercy^ we have the lift of the Lodges in 
1782, with the names of the Office-bearers. Four- 
fifths of thefe are clergymen, profeffors, perfons having 
offices in the common-law courts, men of letters by 
trade, fuch as reviewers and journalills, and other pam- 
phleteers ; a clafs of men, who generally think that they 
have not attained that rank in fociety to which their ta- 
lents entitle them, and imagine that they could dif- 
charge the important offices of the ftate with reputation 
to themfelves and advantage to the pubhc. 

The miferable uncertainty and inftability of the Ma- 
fonic faith, which I defcribed above, was not akogedier 
theeffetlof mere chance, but hiid been greatly accelerated 
by the machinations of Baron Knigge, and fome other 
Cofmo-political Brethren whom he had called to his af- 
fiflance. Knigge had now formed a fcheme for uniting 
the whole Fraternity, for the purpofe of promoting his 
Utopian plan of univerfal benevolence in a ftate of li- 
berty and equality. He hoped to do this more readily 
by completing their embarraffment, and (hewing each 
fyftem how imfirm its foundation was, and how little 
chance it had of obtaining a general adherence. The 
Striken Ohfervanz had now completely loft its credit, 
by which it had hoped to get the better of all the reft, 
Knigge therefore propofed a plan to the Lodges of 
Frankfort and Wetzlar, by which all the fyftems might, 
in lome meafure, be united, or at leaft be brought to a 
ftate of mutual forbearance and intercourfe. He pro- 


pofed that the Englifh (;vdem fliould be taken for the 
ground-work, and to receive albihd only thofe who had 
taken the three fymbolical degrees, as they were now 
generally called. After thus guarding this general point 
of faith, he propofed to allow the validity of every de- 
ii^ree or rank which fliould be received in any Lodge, or 
be made the chara6ier of any particular fyftem. Thefe 
Lodges, having iccured the adherence of feveral odiers, 
broughtabouta general convention at Willemfbadin ?Iai- 
nault, where every different fyftein fhpuld communi- 
cate its peculiar tenets. It w^as then hoped, that after 
an examination of them all, a conflitution might be 
formed, which comprehended every thing that was moft 
worthy of fele£tion, and therefore be far better than the ac- 
commodating fyliem already defcribed. By this he ho- 
ped to get his favorite fcheme introduced into the whole 
Order, and Free Mafons made zealous Citizens of the 
World. I believe he was fincere in thefe intentions, 
and had no intention to difturb the public peace. The 
convention was accordin-dy held, and lafled a long while, 
the deputies confuhing about the frivolities of Mafonry, 
with all the ferioufncfs of ftate-ambaffadors. But there 
was great Ihynefs in their communications ; and Knigge 
v;as making but fmall progrefs in his plan, when he met 
with another Mafon, the Marquis of Conlfanza, who in 
an inftant converted him, and changed all his meafures, 
by fhow'ing him that he (Knigge) was only doing by 
halves what was already accompliflied by another Soci- 
ety, which had carried it to its full extent. They im- 
mediately fct about undoing what he had been occupi- 
ed with, and heightened as much as they could the dif- 
fentions, already fufRciendy great, and, in the mean 
time, got the Lodges of Frankfort and Wetzlar, and fe- 
veral others, to unite, and pick out the befl of the things 
they had obtaiiied by the communications from the 


TOtTier fyftems, and they formed a plan of what they 
called, the EcleHic or Syncritic Mafonry of the United 
Lodges of Germany. They compofed a conftitution, 
ritual, and catechifm, which has merit, and is indeed 
the completeft body of Free Mafonry that we have. 

Such was the ftate of this celebrated and myfterious 
Fraternity in Germany in 1776. The fpirit of innova- 
tion had feized all the Brethren. No man could give a 
tolerable account of the origin, hiftory, or object of 
die Order, and it appeared to all as a loft or forgotten 
myftery. The fymbols feemed to be equally fufcepti- 
ble of every interpretation, and none of trhefc fc?med 
entitled to any decided preference. 


The Illuminati. 


AM now arrived at ivhat I fhould cail the great 
epoch of Cofmo-politifm, the fcheme communicated to 
Baron Knigge by the Marchefe di Conjlanza. This 
obliges me to mention a remarkable Lodge of the Eclec- 
tic Mafonry, ere6led at Munich in Bavaria, in 1775, 
under the worfliipful Mafter, ProfefTor Baader. It was 
called The Lodge Theodore of Good Counfel. It had its 
conftitutional patent from the Royal York at Berlin, 
but had formed a particular fyftem of its own, by in- 
ftruftions from the Lege des Chevaliers Bienfaifants at 
Lyons, with which it kept up a correfpondence. This 
refpeB; to the Lodge at Lyons had arifen from the pre- 
ponderance acquired in general by the French party in 
the convention at Willemfbad. The deputies of the 
Rofaic Lodges, as well as the remains of the Templars, 
and StriBen Obfervanz, all looking up to this as the mo- 
ther Lodge of what they called the Grand Orient de la 
France^ confiding (in 1782) of 266 improved Lodges, 
united under the D. de Chartres. Accordingly the 
Lodge at Lyons fent Mr. Willermooz as deputy to this 
convention at Willemfbad. Refining gradually on the 
fimplc Britifh Mafonry, the Lodge had furmtd a fyltcm 


of praftical morality, which it afferted to be the aim of 
genuine Mafonry, faying, that a true Mafon, and a 
man of upright heart and aftive virtue, are fynonymous 
charaders, and that the great aim of Free Mafonry is 
to promote the happinefs of mankind by every mean in 
our power. In purfuance of thefe principles, the Lodge 
Theodore profefiedly occupied itfelf with ceconomical, 
flatiflical, and political matters, and not only publifhed 
from time to time difcourfes on fuch fubje6ls by the 
Brother Orator, but the Members confidered themfelves 
as in duty bound to propagate and inculcate the fame 
do6lrines out of doors. 

Of the zealous members of the Lodge Theodore the 
molt confpicuous was Dr. Adam Weifhaupt, ProfeffoF 
of Canon Law in the univerhty of Ingolftadt. This 
perfon had been educated among the Jefuits; but the 
abolition of their order made him change his views, and 
from being their pupil, he became their moft bitter ene- 
my. He had acquired a high reputation in his profef- 
iion, and was attended not only by thofe intended for 
the prafiice in the law-courts, but alfo by the young 
gentlemen at large, in their courfe of general educati- 
on ; and he brought numbers from the neighbouring 
ftates to this univerlity, and gave a ton to the Ihudies of 
the place. He embraced with great keennefs this opt 
portunity of fpreading the favorite doctrines of the 
Lodge, and his auditory became the feminary of Cof- 
mo-politifm. The engaging piQures of the poflible fe- 
licity of a fociety where every office is held by a man of 
talents and virtue, and where every talent is fet in a 
place fitted for its exertion, forcibly catches the gene- 
rous and unfufpefting minds of youth, and in a Roman 
Catholic (late, far advanced in the habits of grofs fuper- 
ftition (a charader given to Bavaria by its neighbours} 


and abounding in monks and idle dignitaries, the op- 
portunities muft be frequent for obferving the inconli- 
derate dominion of the clergy, and the abjeft and indo- 
lent fubmiffion of the laity. Accordingly Profeffor 
Weifhaupt fays, in his Apology for Illuminatifm, that 
Deifm, Infidelity, and Atheifm are more prevalent in 
Bavaria than in any country he was acquainted with. 
Difcourfes, therefore, in which the abfurdity and hor- 
rors of fuperftition and fpiritual tyranny were ftrongly 
painted, could not fail of making a deep imprcflion'. 
And during this ftate of the minds of the auditory the 
tranfition to general infidelity and irreligion is fo eafy-, 
and fo inviting to fanguine youth, prompted perhaps 
by a latent wifh that the reftraints which religion impo- 
fes on the expeftants of a future ftate might be found", 
on enquiry, to be nothing but groundlefs terrors ; that 
I imagine it requires the mod anxious care of the public 
teacher to keep the minds of his audience impreffed 
with the reality and importance of the great truths of re- 
ligion, while he frees them from the fhackles of blind 
and abfurd fuperftition., I fear that this celebrated in- 
ftruftor had none of this anxiety, but was iatisfied with 
his great fuccefs in the laft part of this tafk, the eman- 
cipation of his young hearers from the terrors of fupcr- 
flition. I fuppofe alfo that this was the more agreeable 
to him, as it procured him the triumph over the Jefuits, 
with whom he had long itruggled for the diretiion of the 

This was in 1777. Weifhaupt had long been fchem- 
ingthe eftablifhment of an Aifociation or Order, which, 
in time, fliould govern the world. In his firft fervour 
and high expetiations, he hinted to feveral Ex-Jefuits 
the probability of their recovering, under a new name,, 
the influence which they formerly poifelled, and of be- 


ing again of great fervice to fociety, by dircfting the 
education of youth of diftinftion, now emancipated 
from all civil and religious prejudices. He prevailed 
on fome to join him, but they all retraced but two. 
After this difappointment Weifhaupt became the irapla-. 
cable enemy of the }cfuits ; and his fanguine temper 
madehnn frequently lay himfelf open to their piercing 
eye, and drew on him their kceneft refentment, and at 
laft made him the viftim of their enmity. 

The Lodge Theodore was the place where the above- 
mentioned doftrines were moft zcaiouOy propagated. 
But Weilliaupt's emiflaries had already procured the 
adherence of many other Lodges ; and the Ecl€6tic Ma- 
fonry had been brought into vogue chiefly by their ex- 
ertions at the Willemfbad convention. The Lodge 
Theodore was perhaps lefs guarded in its proceedings, 
for it became remarkable for the very bold fentiments 
in politics and religion which were frequently uttered in 
their harangues ; and its members were noted for their 
zeal in making profelytes. Many bitter pafquinades, 
fatires, and other offenhve pamphlets were in fecret cir- 
culation, and even larger works of very dangerous ten- 
dency, and feveral of them v/ere traced to that Lodge. 
The EleQor often expreffed his dilapprobation of fuch 
proceedings, and fent them kind meflages, deliringthem 
to be careful not to difturb the peace of the country, 
and particularly to recolleft the folemn declaration made 
to every entrant into the Fraternity of Free Mafons, 
" That no fubjeft of religion or politics fliall ever be 
touched on in the Lodge ;" a declaration which alone 
could have procured his permiflion of any fecret affem- 
bly whatever, and on the iincerity and honor of which 
he had reckoned when he gave his fantlion to their efta- 
biifliment. But repeated accounts of the fame kind in- 


ereafed the alarm, and the Elector ordered a judicial 
enquiry into the proceedings of the Lodge Theodore. 

It was then difcovered that this and feveral afTociated 
Lodges we'^e the nurfery or preparation-fchool for ano- 
ther Order of Mafons, who called themfelves the Illu- 
minated, and that the exprefs aim of this Order wa$ 
to abolifh Chriilianity, and overturn all civil govern^ 
ment. But the refult of the enquiry was very impcr- 
feci and unfatisfaftory. No lUuminati were to be 
found. They were unknown in the Lodge. Some of 
the members occafionally heard of certain candidates 
for illumination called Mi nervals, who were fome- 
times feen among them. But whether thefe had been 
admitted, or vho received them, was known only to 
themfelves. Some of thefe v/ere examined in private 
by the Eleftor himfelf. They laid that they were bound 
by honor to. fecrecy : But they afTured the Eleftor, on 
their honor, that the aim of the Order was in the high- 
eil degree praife -worthy, and ufeful both to church and 
ftate : But this could not allay the anxiety of the pro- 
fane public ; and it was repeatedly ftated to the Eletior, 
that members of the Lodge Theodore had unguardedly 
fpoken of this Order as one that in time mull rule the 
world. He therefore ilTued an order forbidding, dur- 
ing his pleafure, all fecret affemblies, and fhutting up 
the Mafon Lodges. It was not meant to be rigoroufly 
enforced, but was intended as a trial of the deference of 
thefe AfTociations for civil authority. The Lodge 
Theodore diftinguifhed itfelf by pointed oppolition, 
continuing its meetings ; and the members, out of doors, 
openly reprobated the prohibition as an abfurd and un- 
juiufiabie tyranny. 


. Irithe beginning of 1783, four profeflbrs of the Ma-i 
rianen Academy, founded by the widow of the late 
Eleftor, viz. Utfchneider, CofTandey, Renner, and 
Grunberger, with two others, were fummoned before 
the Court of Enquiry, and queftioned, on their alle- 
giance, refpe6ling the Order of the Illuminati. They 
acknowledged that they belonged to it, and when more 
clofely examined, they related feveral circumftances of 
its conflitution and principles. Their declarations werfe 
immediately publifhed, and w^ere very unfavorabk". 
The Order was faid to abjure Chriftianity, and to re-f 
fufe admifiion into the higher degrees to all who adher- 
ed to any of the three confeflions. Senfual pleafures 
were reftored to the rank they held in the Epicurean 
philofophy. Self-murder was jullified on Stoical jwin- 
ciples. In the Lodges death was declared an eternal 
•fleep ; patriotifm and loyalty were called narrow-mind- 
ed prejudices, and incompatible with univerfal benevo- 
lence ; continual declamations were made on liberty and 
equality as the unalienable rights of man. The baneful 
influence of accuraulated property was declared an in- 
furmountable obftacle to the happinefs of any nation 
whofe chief laws were framed for its protetlion and in- 
creafe. Nothing was fo frequently difcourfed of as the 
propriety of employing, for a good purpofe, the means 
which the wicked employed for evil purpofes j and it 
was taught, that the preponderancy of good in the ulti- 
mate refult confecrated every mean employed ; and that 
wifdom and. virtue confifted in properly determining, 
this balance. This appeared big with danger ; becaufe 
it appeared that nothing would be fcrupled at, if we 
could make it appear that the Order could derive advan- 
tage from it, becaufe the great objetl of the Order w^as 
held as fuperior to every conhderation. They con- 
cluded by. faying that the method of education made 


them all fpies on each other and on all around them. 
But all this was denied by the Illuminati. Some of 
them were {aid to be abfolutcly falfe ; and the reft were 
faid to be millakes. The apoftate profeiTors had ac- 
knowledged their ignorance of many things. Two of 
them were only Mmervals, another was an lUuminatus 
of the lowcft clafs, and the fourth was but one ftep far- 
ther advanced. Pamphlets appeared on both fides, with 
very little effect. The Eleclor called before him one 
of the fuperiors, a young nobleman, who denied thefe 
injurious charges, and faid that they were ready to lay 
before his Highnefs their whole archives and all confti- 
tutional papers. 

Notwithftanding all this, the government had receiv- 
ed fuch an impreffion of the dangerous tendency of the 
Order, that the Ele6lor ilfued another edift, forbidding 
all hidden aflemblies ; and a third, exprefsly abolifhing 
the Order of Illuminati. It w^as followed by a fearch 
after their papers. The Lodge Theodore was immedi- 
ately fearched, but none were to be found. They faid 
now that they had burnt them all, as of no ufe, fincc 
that Order was at an end. 

It was now^ difcovered, that Weifhaupt was the head 
and founder of the Order. He was deprived of his 
Profeffor's chair, and banifhcd from the Bavarian 
States ; but with a penfion of 800 florins, which he re- 
fufed. Pie went to Regenfburg, on the confines of 
Switzerland. Two Italians, the Marquis Conllanza 
and Marquis Savioli, were alfo banifhed, with equal 
penfions (about L. 4c) which they accepted. One 
Zwack, a counfellor, holding fome law -office, was alfo 
baniflicd. Others were iniprifoncd for fome lime. 
Weifhaupt went afterwards imp the fervice of the D. of 


Saxe Gotha, a perfon of a romantic turn of mind, an4 
\vhom we fhall again meet with. Zwack went into the 
fervice of the Pr. de Salms, who foon after had fo great 
a hand in the difturbances in Holland. 

By deftroying the papers, all opportunity w^as loft fof 
authenticating the innocence and ufefalnefs of the Ori 
der. After much altercation and paper w^ar, Weif- 
haupt, now fafe in Regenfburg, publifhed an accouht 
of the Order, namely, (he account which was given to 
every Novice in a difcourfe read at his reception. To this 
Were added, the ftatutes and the rules of proceeding, as 
fkr as the degree of Illuminatus Aiinor, inclufive. This 
account he affirmed to be conform to the real pra8;ice 
of the Order. But this publication did by no means fa- 
tisfy the public mind. It differed exceedingly from the 
accounts given by the four profeflbrs. It made no 
mention of the higher degrees, which had been moft 
blamed by'theni. Belides, it was alleged, that it was 
all a fiftion, written in order to lull the fufpicions which 
liad been raifed (and this was found to be the cafe, exr 
cept in refpe6l of the very loweft degree.) The real 
conftitution was brought to light by degrees, and fhall 
be laid before the reader, in the order in which it was 
gradually difcovered, that we may the better judge of 
things not fully known by the condu8: of the leaders du- 
ring the detection. The firll account given by Weif- 
haupt is corre6l, as far as I fhall make ufe of it, and 
fliows cleajly the methods that were taken to recom- 
mend the Order to flrangers. 

The Order of I LLUM IN ATI appears as an accefTory 
to Free Mafonry. It is in the Lodges of Free Mafons 
that the Mmervals are found, and there they are pre- 

■ M 



pared for Illumination. They mult have previoufly 
obtained the three Englifli degrees. The founder fays 
more. He fays that his dodrines are the only true Free 
Mafonry. He was the chief promoter of the EcUBic 
Syjitm. This he urged as the beft method for gettmg 
information of all the explanations which have been gi- 
ven of the Mafonic Myfteries. He was alfo a StriB^ 
Obfervanz^ and an adept Rofycrucian. The refult of 
all his knowledge is worthy of particular remark, and 
Ihall therefore be given at large. 

" I declare," fays he, '' and I challenge all mankind 
to contradi6l my declaration, that no man can give any 
account of the Order of Free Mafonry, of its origin, 
of its hiftory, of its objeB, nor any explanation of its 
myfteries and fymbols, which does not leave the mind 
in total uncertainty on all thefe points. Every man is 
entitled, therefore, to give any explanation of the fym- 
bols, and any fyftem of the do6lrines, that he can ren- 
der palatable. Hence have fprung up that variety of 
fyftems which for twenty years have divided the Order. 
The fimple tale of the Englifh, and the fifty degrees of 
the French, and the Knights of Baron Hunde, are 
equally authentic, and have equally had the fupport of 
intelligent and zealous Brethren. Thefe fyftems are in 
faO; but one. They have all fprung from the Blue 
Lodge of Three degrees ; take thefe for their ftandard, 
and found on thefe all the improvements by which each 
fyftem is afterwards fuited to the particular objeQ; which 
it keeps in view. There is no man, nor fyftem, in the 
world, which can fhow by undoubted fucceftion that it 
ftiould ftand at the head of the Order. Our ignorance 
in this particular frets me. Do but confider our fliort 
liiftory of 120 years. — Who will fliow me the Mother 
Lodge ? Thofe of London we ha,ve difcovered to be 


felf-ere6led in 1716. Afk for their archives. Theytel! 
you they were burnt. They have nothing but the 
wretched fophiftications of the Englifhman Anderfon, 
and the Frenchman Defaguilliers. Where is the Lodge 
of York, which pretends to the priority, with their 
King Bouden, and the archives that he brought from 
the Eaft ? Thefe too are all burnt. What is the Chap- 
ter of Old Aberdeen, and its Holy Clericate ? Did we 
not find it unknown, and the Mafon Lodges there the 
moft ignorant of all the ignorant, gaping for inftruBion 
from our deputies ? Did we not find the fame thing at 
London ? And have not their miffionaries been among 
us, prying into our myfteries, and eager to learn from 
us what is true Free Mafonry ? It is in vain, therefore, 
to appeal to judges; they are no where to be found; 
all claim for therafelves the fceptre of the Order ; all 
indeed are on an equal footing. They obtained follow- 
ers, not from their authenticity, but from their condu- 
civenefs to the end which they propofed, and from the 
importance of that end. It is by this fcale that we muft 
meafure the mad and wicked explanations of the Rofy- 
crucians, the Exorcifts, acid "Cabalifts. Thefe are re- 
jefted by all good Mafons, becaufe incompatible with 
focial happinefs. Only fuch fyftems as promote this 
are retained. But alas, they are all fadly deficient, be- 
caufe they leave us under the dominion of political and 
religious prejudices ; and they are as inefficient as the 
•fleepy dofe of an ordinary fermon. 

^^ But I fiave contrived an explanation which has eve- 
ry advantage ; is inviting to Chriftians of every commu- 
nion ; gradually frees them from all religious prejudi- 
ces ; cultivates the focial virtues ; and animates them 
by a great, a feafible, and fpcedy profpe6t of univcrfal 
iappinefs, in a flats of liberty and moral equality, freed 



from the obftacles which fubordination, rank, and riches, 
continually throw in our way. My explanation is accu- 
rate, and complete, my means are efFeftual, and irre- 
fiflible. Our fecret Aflbciation works in a way that 
nothing can withfland, and manJJiall foon be free and 

" This is the great obje8: held out by this Aflbciati- 
on : and the means of attaining it is Illumination, en- 
lightening the underftanding by the fun of reafon, which 
will difpel the clouds of fuperftition and of prejudice. 
The proficients in this Order are therefore juftly named 
the Illuminated. And of all Illumination which hu- 
man reafon can give, none is comparable to the difco- 
very of what we are, our nature, our obligations, what 
happinefs we are capable of, and what are the means of 
attaining it. In comparifon with this, the moft brilliant 
fciences are but amufements for the idle and luxurious. 
To fit man by Illumination for a6live virtue, to engage 
him to it by the ftrongeft motives, to render the attain- 
ment of it eafy and certain, by finding employment for 
every talent, and by placing every talent in its proper 
fphere of aBion, fo that all, without feeling any extra- 
ordinary effort, and in conjunftion with and completion 
of ordinary bufmefs, fhall urge forward, with united 
powers, the general tafl^. This indeed will be an em- 
ployment fuited to noble natures, grand in its views, 
and delightful in its exercife. 

" And what is this general obje8; ? The h appt x e s s 
OF THE HUMAN RACE. Is it uot diftrcffmg to a ge- 
nerous mind, after contemplating what human nature is 
capable of, to fee how little we enjoy ? When we look 
at this goodly world, and fee that every man may be 
happy, but that the happinefs of one depends on the 


conduEl oranother ; when we fee the wicked fo powerful, 
and the good fo weak ; and that it is in vain to ftrive, 
fingly and alone, againft the general current of vice and 
oppreffion; the wiih naturally arifes in the mind, that 
it were poflible to form a durable combination of the 
moft worthy perfons, who Ihould w^ork together in re- 
moving the obftacles to human happinefs, become ter- 
rible to the wicked, and give their aid to all the good 
without diltintlion, and fhould by the mod powerful 
pieans, firft fetter, and by fettering, leilen vice ; mean$ 
which at the fame time Ihould promote virtue, by ren- 
dering the inclination to retlitude, hitherto too feeble, 
more powerful and engaging. Would not fuch an affo- 
ciation be a bleffing to the v/orld ? 

" But where are the proper perfons, the good, the 
generous, and the accomplilhed, to be found ? and 
how, and by what ftrong motives, are they to be indu- 
ced to engage in a tafk fo vaft, fo incelTant, fo difficult, 
and fo laborious ? This Affociation mull be gradual. 
There art fome fuch perfons to be foimd in every focie- 
ty. Such noble minds will be engaged by the heart- 
warming objeB;. The firft tafic of the Affociation muft 
therefore be to form the young members. As thefe 
multiply and advance, they become the apoftles of be- 
neficence, and the work is now on foot, and advances 
with a fpeed encreafing every day. The llighteft obfer- 
vation fliows that nothing w^ill fo mtich contribute to in- 
creafe the zeal of the members as fecret union. We 
fee with what keennefs and zeal the frivolous bufinefs of 
Free Mafonry is conducted, by perfons knit together 
by the fecrecy of their union. It is needlefs to enquire 
into the caufes of this zeal which fecrecy produces. It 
is an univerfal fa6l, confirmed by the hiftory of every 
age. Let this circumdance of our conititution there- 



fore be direfted to this noble purpofe, and then all the 
obje£lions urged againft it by jealous tyranny and af- 
frighted fuperftition will vanifh. The Order will thus 
work filently, and fecurely ; and though the generous 
benefaftors of the human race are thus deprived of the 
applaufe of the world, they have the noble pleafure of 
feeing their work profper in their hands." 

Such is the aim, and fuch are the hopes of the Order 
of the Illuminated. Let us now fee how thefe were to 
be accompliflied. We cannot judge precifeiy of this, 
becaufe the account given of the conftitution of the Or- 
der by its founder includes only the loweft degree, and 
even this is fufpefted to be fi6litious. The accounts 
given by the four Profeffors, even of this part of the 
Order, make a very different imprefTion on the mind, 
although they differ only in a few particulars. 

The only oftenfible members of the Order M'ere the 
Minervals. They were to be found only in the Lodges 
of Free Mafons. A candidate for admiffion muil make 
his wifti known to fome Minerval ; he reports it to a 
Superior, who, by a channel to be explained prefently, 
intimates it to the Council. No notice is farther taken 
of it for fome time. The candidate is carefully obfer- 
ved in filence, and if thought unfit for the Order, no 
notice is taken of his folicitation. But if otherwife, the 
candidate receives privately an invitation to a confer- 
ence. Here he meets with a perfon unknown to him, 
and, previous to all further conference, he is required 
to perufe and to fign the following oath. 

"I N. N. hereby bind myfelf, by mine honor and 
good name, forfwearing all mental refervation, never to 
revealj by hint, word, writing, or in any manner what- 


ever, even to my moft trufted friend, any thing that 
Ihall now be faid or done to me refpefting my wifhed- 
for reception, and this wheth^^r my reception fliall fol- 
low or net ; I being previoufly affured that it Ihall con- 
tain nothing contrary to religion, the ftate, nor good 
manners. I promife, that I fhall make no intelligible 
extraft from any papers which fhall be fliewn me now 
or during my noviciate. All this I fwear, as I am, 
and as I hope to continue, a Man of Honor." 

The urbanity of this proteftation muft agreeably im- 
prefs the mind of a perfon who recolle6ls the dreadful im- 
precations which he made at his reception into the dif- 
ferent ranks of Free Mafonry. The candidate is then 
introduced to an Illuminatus Dirigens, whom perhaps 
he knows, and is told that this perfon is to be his future 
inftru6lor. There is now prefented to the candidate, 
what they call a table, in which he writes his name, place 
of birth, age, rank, place of refidence, profeflion, and 
favorite ftudies. He is then made to read feveral arti- 
cles of this table. It contains, ift. a very concife ac- 
count of the Order, its connection with Free Mafonry, 
and its great objeft, the promoting the happinefs of 
mankind by means of inftruBion and confirmation in 
virtuous principles. 2d. Several queftions relative to 
the Order. Among thefe are, " What advantages he 
hopes to derive from being a member ? What he moft 
particularly willies to learn ? What delicate queftions 
relative to the life, the profpe6ls, the duties of man, as 
an individual, and as a citizen, he wifties to have parti- 
cularly difcuffed to him ? In what refpefts he thinks he 
can be of ufe to the Order ? Who are his anceftors, re- 
lations, friends, correfpondents, or enemies ? Whom 
he thinks proper perfons to be received into the Order, 
or whom he thinks unfit for it, and the reafons for both 


opinions ?" To each of thefe queftions he muft give 
fome anfwer in writing. 

The Novice and his Mentor arc known only to each 
<!)ther ; perhaps nothing more follows upon this ; if 
oiherwife, tlie Mentor appoints another conference, and 
begins his in{lru6tions, by giving him in detail certain 
portions of the conftitution, and of the fundamental 
rules of the Order. Of thefe the Novice muft give a 
weekly account in writing. He muft alfo read, in the 
Mentor's houfe, a book containing more of the inftruc- 
tions of the Order ; but he muft make no extracts. Yet 
from this reading he muft derive all his knowledge ; and 
Ke muft give an account in writing of his progrefs. All 
writings received from his Superiors muft be returned 
with a ftated punctuality. Thefe writings confift chiefly 
of important and delicate queftions, fuited,' either to 
the particular inclination, or to the peculiar tafte which 
the candidate had difcovered in his fubfcriptions of the 
articles of the table, and in his former refcripts, or to 
the direction which the Mentor willies to give to his 

Enlightening the underftanding, and the rooting out 
of prejudices, are pointed out to him as the principal 
taflvs of his noviciate. The knowledcje of hirafelf is con- 
fidered as preparatory to all other knowledge. To dif- 
clofe to him, by means of the calm and unbiafted obfer- 
vation of his inftruBor, what is his own chara6ler, his 
moft vulnerable fide, either in refpeft of temper, paf- 
fions, or prepoffeftions, .is therefore the moft effential 
fervicq that can be done him. For this purpofe there is 
required of him fome account of his own condu6l on 
occafions where he doubted of its propriety ; fome ac- 
count of his friendOiips, of his differences of opinion, 


i^nd of his condu6i on fuch occafions. From fuch rela* 
lions the Superior learns his manner of thinking anA 
judging, and thofe propcnfities which require his chie'f 

Having made the candidate acquainted with himfelf, 
he is apprifed that the Order is not a fpeculative, but 
an a6live aflbciation, engaged in doing good to others- 
The knowledge of human charaQer is therefore of all 
others the moft important. This is acquired only by 
obfervation, affifted by the ihftruflions of his teacher- 
Charai^lers in hiftory are propofed to him for obferva- 
tion, and his opinion is required. After this he is di- 
refted to look around him, and to notice the conduft 
of other men ; and part of his weekly refcripts muft con- 
fift of accounts of all interefting occurrences in his neigh- 
bourhood, whether of a public or private nature. Cof- 
fand^y, one of the four Profeffors, gives a particular 
account of the inftruQions relating to this kind of fci- 
ence. *' The Novice muft be attentive to trifles : For, 
in frivolous occurrences a man is indolent, and makes 
no eflPort to a6l a part, fo that his real charafter is then 
a6ling alone. Nothing will have fuch influence with the 
Superiors in promoting the advancement of a candidate 
as very copious narrations of this kind, becaufe the can- 
didate, if promoted, is to be employed in an aftive 
ftation, audit is from this kind of information only that 
the Superiors can judge of his fitnefs. Thefe charafter- 
iftic anecdotes are not for the inftruftion of the Supe- 
riors, who are men of long experience, and familiar 
with fuch occupation. But they inform the Order con- 
cerning the talents and proficiency of the young mem- 
ber. Scientific inftruftion, being conne6led by fyftem, 
is foon communicated, and may in general be very com- 



pletely obtained from the books which are recommend- 
ed to the Novice, and acquired in the public feminaries 
of inftruftion. But knowledge of charafter is more 
multifarious and more delicate. For this ihere is no 
college, and it muft therefore require longer time for its 
attainment. Befides, this afliduous and Ions; continued 
ftudy of men, enables the pofleffor of fuch knowledge 
to aft with men, and by his knowledge of their charac- 
ter, to influence their condutl. For fuch reafons this 
ftudy is continued, and thefe refcripts are required, dur- 
ing the whale progrefs through the Order, and attention 
to them is recommended as the only mean of advance- 
ment. Remarks on Phyfiognomy in thefe narrations 
are accounted of confiderable value." So far Mr. Cof- 
.. fandey. 

During all this trial, which may laft one, tv/o, or 

• three years, the Novice knows no perfon of the Order 
. but his own inftrudor, with whom he has frequent meet- 
ings, along with other Minervals. In thefe converfati- 
ons he learns the importance of the Order, and the op- 
portunities he will afterwards have of acquiring much 
hidden fcience. The employment of his unknown Su- 

. periors naturally caufes him to entertain very high no- 
lions of their abilities and worth. He is counfelled to 
. aim at a refemblance to them by getting rid by degrees 

• of all thofe prejudices or prepofl^eflions which checked 
. liis own former progrefs ; and he is afiTifted in this endea- 
vour by an invitation to a correfpondence with them, 
He may addrefs his Provincial Superior, by directing 
liis letter Soli, or the General by Primo, or the Supe- 
riors in general by Qiiibus, licet. In thefe letters he may 
mention whatever he thinks conducive to the advance- 
xnem of ihe Order; he may inform the Superiors how 
his inftruftor behaves to him ; if afTiduous or remifs, in- 



■dulgent or fevere. The Sliperiors are enjoined by the 
{trongeft motives to convey thefe letters wherever ad- 
dreiTcd. None but the General and Council know the 
refult of all this ; and all are enjoined to keep themfelves 
and their proceedings unknown to all the world. . r 

If three years of this Noviciate have elapfed without 
further notice, the Minerval muft look for no further 
advancement ; he is found unfit, and remains a Free 
Mafon of the higheil clafs. This is called a Sta bene. • 

But fhould his Superiors judge more favorably of 
him, he is drawn out of the general mafs of Free .Ma^ 
fons, and becomes Illuminatus Minor. When called 
to a conference for this purpofe, he is told in the mofl 
ferious manner, that " it is vain for him to hope to 
acquire wiCdom by mere fyftematic inftraftion ; for fucli 
inftruftion the Superiors have no leifure. Their duty 
h not to form fpeculators, but aHive men, whom they 
muft immediately employ in the fervice of the Order. 
He muft iherefoie grow wife and able entirely by the 
unfolding and exertion of his own talents. His Supe- 
riors have already difcovered what thefe are, and know 
what fervice he may be capable of rendering the Order, 
provided he now heartily acquiefces in being thus, ho- 
norably employed. They will aftift him in bringing 
his talents into aftion, and will place. him in the fituati- 
ons moft favorable for their exertion, fo that he may be 
ajfured of fuccefs. Hitherto he has been a mere fcholar, 
but his firft ftep farther carries him into action; he muft 
therefore now confider himfelf as an inftrument in .the 
hands of his Superiors, to be ufed for the noblcft pur- 
pofcs." The aim of the Order is now more fully told 
him. It is, in one fentence, " to make of the humaa 
race, without any diftinQion of nation, condition, or 


profeflion, one good and happy family." To this aim^ 
demonftrably attainable, every fmaller confideration 
muft give way. This may fometimes require facrrfices 
which no man Handing alone has fortitude to make; but 
which become light, and a fource of the pureft enjoy- 
ment, when fupported and encouraged by the counte- 
nance and co-operation of the united wife and good, 
fuch as are the Superiors of the Order. If the candi- 
date, warmed by the alluring pifture of the poffible hap- 
pinefs of a virtuous Society, fays that he is lenfible of 
the propriety of this procedure, and ftill wifhes to be of 
the Order, he is required to fign the following obliga- 

^^ I, N. N. protell before you, the worthy Plenipo- 
tentiary of the venerable Order into whifh I wifh to be 
admitted, that I acknowledge my natural weaknefs and 
inability, and that I, with all my poffeffions, rank, ho- 
nors, and titles which I hold in political fociety, am, 
at bottom, only a man ; I can enjoy thefe things only 
through my fellow-men, and through them alfo I may 
lofe them. The approbation and confideration of my 
fellow-men are indifpenlibly neceflary, and I muft try 
to maintain them by all my talents. Thefe I will never 
ufe to the prejudice of univerfal good, but will oppofe, 
with all my might, the enemies of the human race, and 
of political fociety. I will embrace every opportunity 
of faving mankind, by improving my underftanding and 
my affeftionsj and by imparting all important know- 
ledge, as the good and ftatutes of this Order require of 
me. I bind myfelf to perpetual filence and unlbaken 
loyalty and fubmiffion to the Order, in the perfons of 
my Superiors ; here making a faithful and complete f«r- 
lender of my private judgment, my own will, and eve- 
ry narrow-minded employment of my power and inEu* 


ciTce. r pledge my felf to account the good of the Or-r 
der as my ov/n, aijd am ready to lerve it with my for-,^ 
tune, my honor, and my blood. Should ^, through 
omiflion, neglect, paflion, or wickednefs, behave con- 
trary to this good of the Order, I fubje6t my felf to what 
reproof or punifliment my Superiors fhall enjoin. The 
friends and enemies of the Order fhall be my friend.'i 
and enemies ; and with refpeft to both I will ,condu8; 
myfwlf a« direded by the Order, and am ready, in every 
lawful way, to devote my felf to its increafe and promo- 
lion, and therein to employ all my ability. All this I 
promife, and proteft, without fecret rpfervation, accord- 
ing to the intention of the Society which require from 
me this engagement. This I do as I am, and as I hope* 
to continue, a Man of Honor." 

A drawn fword is then pointed at his bread, and he 
is afl-Led, Will you be obedient to the commands of 
your Superiors ? He is threatened with unavoidable 
vengeance, from which no potentate can defend him, if 
he fhould ever betray the Order. He is then alkcd, i. 
What aim does he wifh the Order to have ? ^, What 
means he would choofe to advance this aim ? 3. Whom 
he wifhes to keep out of the Order ? 4. What fubjeds 
he wiflies not to be difcuffed in it ? 

Our candidate is now Illuminatus Minor. It 
is needlefs to narrate the mummery of reception, and it 
is enough to fay, that it nearly refembles that of the 
Mafonic Chevalier du Soleil, known to every one much 
converfant in Mafonry. Weifhaupt's preparatory dif- 
courfe of reception is a piece of good compolition, 
whether confidered as argumentative (from topics, in- 
iieed, tliat are very gratuitous and fanciful) or as a 
ipecimen of that decUmatiga which was [o much prac- 


tifed by Libanius and the other Sophifts, and it gives a 
diltintl and captivating account of the profeil'ed aim of 
the Order. 

The Illuminatus Minor learns a good deal more of 
the Order, but by very fparing morfels, under the iame 
inftru^tor. The tafls. has now become more delicate and 
difficult. The chief part of it is the rooting out ofpie- 
judices in politics and religion ; and Weifbaupt has 
fhown much addrefs in the method which he has em- 
ployed. Not the moll hurtful, but the mod eafily re- 
futed, were the firlt fubjetts of difcufiion, fo that the 
pupil gets into the habits of viftory ; and his reverence 
for the fy'iems of either kind is diminifhed when they 
are found to have harboured fuch untenable opinions. 
The proceedings in the Ecletlic Lodges of Mafonry, 
and the harangues of the Brother Orators, teemed with 
the boldeft fentiments both in politics and religion. En - 
lightening, and the triumph of reafon, had been the ton 
of the country for fome time pad, and every inftitution, 
civil and religious, had been the fubjetl of the moll free 
criticifm. Above all, the Cofmo-politifm, which had 
been imported from France, where it had been the fa- 
vorite topic of the enthufiaftical ceconomifts, was now 
become a general theme of difcuffion in all focieties of 
cultivated men. It was a fubje8 of eafy and agreeable 
declamation ; and the Literati found in it a fubj eel ad- 
mirably fitted for Ihowing their talents, and ingratiating 
themfelves with the young men of fortune, whofe minds, 
unfufpicious as yet and generous, were fired with the fair 
profpefts fet before them of univerfal and attainable 
happinefs. And the pupils of the Illuminati were llill 
more warmed by the thought that they were to be the 
happy inftruments of accompiifliing all this. And 
though the doQrincs of uni\ eriV.l liberty and equality^ 


as imprcfcriptible rights of man, might fomethnesftartle 
thofe who poffefTcd the advantage of fortune, there were 
tiioufands of younger fons, and of men of talents without 
fortune, to whom thefe were agreeable founds. And 
we muil particularly obferve, that thofe who were now 
the pupils were a fet of picked fubjefts, whofe charac- 
ters and peculiar biafes were well known by their con- 
duft during their noviciate as Minervals. They were 
therefore fuch as, in all probability, would not boggle 
at very free fcntimcnts. We might rather expeft a par- 
tiality to do61rines which removed fome reftraints which 
formerly checked them in the indulgence of youthful 
paffions. Their inftruQors, who have thus relieved their 
minds from feveral anxious thoughts, muft appear men 
of fuperior minds. This was a notion mod carefully 
inculcated ; and they could fee nothing to contradift it ; 
for except their own Mentor, they knew none ; they 
heard of Superiors of different ranks, but never faw 
them ; and the fame mode of inftruftion that was prac- 
tifed during their noviciate was ftill retained. More 
particulars of the Order were flowly unfolded to them, 
and they were taught that their Superiors were men of 
difhingui fired talents, and were Superiors for this reafon 
alone. They were taught, that the great opportunities 
which the Superiors had for obfervation, and their ha- 
bits of continually occupying their thoughts with the 
great obje6ls of this Order, had enlarged their views, 
even far beyond the narrow limits of nations and king- 
doms, which they hoped would one day coalefce into 
one great Society, where conhderation would attach to 
talents and worth alone, and that pre-eminence in thefe 
would be invariably attended with all the enjoyments of 
influence and power. And they v/ere told that they 
would gradually become acquainted with thefe great and 
venerable Characters, as they advanced in the Order. 


In eamc{^ of this, tliey were made acquainted with one 
or two Superiors, and with feveral lUumiiiati of their 
own rank. Alfo, to whet their zeal, they are now made 
infiruftors of one or two Minerval;;, and report their 
progrefs to their Superiors. They are given to under- 
Hand that nothing can fo much recommend them as the 
iucccrs with which they perform this tafk. It is decla- 
red to be the beft evidence of their ufefulnefs in the 
great dehgns of the Order. 

The baleful effefls of general fuperftition, and even 
ofany peculiar religious prepolleffion, are now ftrongty 
inculcated, and the difcernment of the pupils in thefe 
matters is learn 'sl by queltions which are given them 
from time to time to difcufs. Thefe are managed with 
delicacy and circumfpetlion, that the timid may not be 
alarmed. In like manner, the political dotlrines of the 
Order are inculcated with the utmoft caution. After the 
mind of the pupil has been warmed by the pidures of 
univerfal happincfs, and convinced that it is a pofTible 
thing to unite all the inhabitants of the earth in one great 
fociety, and after it has been made out, in fome mea- 
fure to the fatisfaftion of the pupil, that a great addition 
of happinefs is gained by the abolition of national dif- 
tin6lions and animohties, it may frequently be no hard 
tafk to make him think that patriotifm is a narrow-mind- 
ed monopolifing fentiment, and even incompatible with 
the more enlarged views of the Order, namely, the 
uniting the whole human race into one great and happy 
fociety. Princes are a chief feature of national diftinc- 
tion. Princes, therefore, may now be fafely reprefent- 
ed as unneceffary. If fo, loyalty to Princes lofes much 
of its facred charaQer; and the fo frequent enforcing of 
it in our common political difcuflions may now be eafily 
made to appear a felfifli maxim of rulers, by whick 


they may more eafily enflave the people ; and thus, it 
may at laft appear, that religion, the love of our parti- 
cular country, and loyalty to our Prince, fhould be re- 
filled, if, by thefe partial or narrow views, we prevent 
the accomplifhment of that Cofmo-political happinefs 
which is continually held forth as the great obj eft of the 
Order. It is in this point of view that the terms of de- 
votion to the Order which are inferted in the oath of ad- 
miffion are now explained. The authority of the ruling 
powers is therefore reprefented as of inferior moral 
weight to that of the Order. " Thefe powers are def- 
pots, when they do not condu6l themfelves by its prin- 
ciples ; and it is therefore our duty to furround them 
with its members, fo that the profane may have no ac- 
cefs to them. Thus we are able nioft powerfully to 
promote its interefts. If any perfon is more difpofed to 
liften to Princes than to the Order, he is not fit for it, and 
hiuft rife no higher. We muft do our utmofl to pro- 
cure the advancement of lUuminati into all important 
civil offices." 

Accordingly the Order laboured in this with great 
zeal and fuccefs. A correfpondence was difcovered, 
in which it is plain, that by their influence, one of the 
greateft ecclefiaftical dignities was filled up in oppoiition 
to the right and authority of the Archbifhop of Spire, 
who is there reprefented as a tyrannical and bigotted 
prieft. They contrived to place their Members as tu- 
tors to the youth of diftinBion. One of them, Baron 
Leuchtfenring, took the charge of a young prince with- 
out any falary. They infinuated themfelves into all 
public offices, and particularly into courts of juftice. 
"In like manner, the chairs in the Univerfity of Ingol- 
iladt were (with only two exceptions) occupied by 



Illuminati. " Rulers who are members muft be pro 
iHOted through the ranks of the Order only in proporti- 
on as they acknowledge the goodnefs of its great object, 
and manner of procedure. Its objeft may be faid to 
be the checking the tyranny of princes, nobles, and 
priefts, and eftablifliing an univerfal equality of condi- 
tion and of religion." The pupil is now informed 
'^ that fuch a religion is contained in the Order, is the 
perfe6lion of Chriftianity, and will be imparted to him 
in due time." 

Thefe and other principles and maxims of the Order 
are partly communicated by the verbal inftruftion of 
the Mentor, partly by writings, which muft be punB.u- 
ally returned, and partly read by the pupil at the Men- 
tor's houfe (but without taking extracts) in fuch por- 
tions as he fhall dired. The refcripts by the pupil mull 
contain difcuflions on thefe fubjefts, and of anecdotes 
and defcriptions of living charatlers ; and thefe muft be 
zealoufly continued, as the chief mean of advancement. 
All this while the pupil knows only his Mentor, the 
Minervals, and a few otliers of his own rank. All men- 
tion of degrees, or other buhnefs of the Order, muft 
be carefully avoided, even in the meetings with other 
Members : " For the Order wifiies to be fecret, and to 
work in filence; for thus it is better fecured from the 
oppreftion of the ruling powers, and becaufe this fccrecy 
gives a greater zeft to the whole." 

This fiiort account of the Noviciate, and of the low- 
eft clafs of Illuminati, is all wc can get from the autho- 
rity of Mr. Weilhaupt. The higher degrees were not 
publiflied by him. Many circumftanccs appear fufpi- 
cious, and are certainly fufceptible of different turns, 
and may eafily be puihed to very dangerous extremes. 


The accounts given by the four profelTors confirm thefe 
fufpicions. They declare upon oath, that they make 
all thefe accufations in confequence of what they heard 
in the Meetings, and of what they knew of the Higher 

But fnice the time of the fuppreffion by the Elector, 
difcoveries have been made which throw great light on 
the fubjeO:. A coUeftion of original papers andcorref- 
pondence was found by fearching the houfe of one 
Zwack (a Member) in 1786. The following year a 
much larger colleftion was found at thelioufe of Baron 
Baffus ; and fince that time Baron Knigge, the moll ac- 
tive Member next to Weifliaupt, publifhed an account 
of fome of the higher degrees, which had been formed 
by himfelf. A long while after this were publifhed, Ntiicf- 
ie Arbeitung des Spartacus und Philo in der Illuminakn 
Or den, and Holier e Granden des Ilium. Or dens. Thefe 
two works give an account of the whole fecret conftitu- 
tion of the Order, its various degrees, the manner of 
conferring them, the inftru6t;ions to the intrants, and an 
explanation of the connection of the Order with Free 
Mafonry, and a critical hiilory. We fliall give fome 
extra6ts from fucli of thefe as have been publillied. 

Weifliaupt was the founder in 1776. In 1778 the 
number of Members was confiderably increafed, and 
the Order was fully eftablilhcd. The Members took 
antique names. Thus Weifliaupt took the name of 
Spartacus, the man who headed the infurre6tion of 
flaves, which in Pompey's time kept Rome in terror and 
uproar for three years. Zwack was called Cato. Knigge 
was Philo. Baffus was Hannibal. Hertel was Marius. 
Marquis Conftanza was Diomedes. Nicholai, an emi- 
ment and learned bookfeller in Berlin, and author offe- 


veral works of reputation, took the name of Lucian, the, 
great fcoffer at all religion. Another was Mahomet^ 
&c. It is remarkable, that except Cato and Socrates, 
\ve have not a name of any ancient who was eminent as 
a teacher and pra8:ifer of virtue. On the contrary,, 
they feem to have affected the characters of the free- 
thinkers and turbulent fpirits of antiquity. In t^ fame 
manner they gave ancient names to the cities and coun- 
tries of Europe. Munich was Athens, Vienna was 
Rome, &c» 

Sparjacus to Cato^ Feb. 6^ lyjS. 

" Mon hit ejl de /aire valoir la raifon. As a fubor- 
dinate object I ihall endeavour to gain fecurity to our- 
felves, a backing m cafe of misfortunes, and afliflance 
from without. I fliall therefore prefs the cultivation of 
fcience, efpecially fuch fciences as may have an influ- 
ence on our reception in the wodd, and may ferve ta 
remove obftacles out of the way. We have to ftruggls 
■with pedantry, with intolerance, with divines and flatef- 
men, and above all, princes and priefls are in our way. 
Men are unfit as they are, and muft be foimed ; each 
clafs muft be the fchool of trial for the next. This \<'ill 
be tedious, becaufe it is hazardous. In tiie laft claffes. 
I propofe academies under the dire6lion of the Order. 
This will fecure us the adherence of the Literati. Sci- 
ence fliall here be the lure. Only thofe who are afiur- 
edly proper fubjecls fhall be picked out from among the 
inferior claffes for the higher myfteries, which contain, 
the firft principles and means of promoting a happy life. 
No religionift muft, on any account, be admitted into 
thefe : For here we work at the difcovery and extirpa- 
tion of fuperftition and prejudices. The inftru6lions 
fliall be fo conducted that each fhall difclofe what h& 


thinks he conceals within his own breaft, what are his 
ruling propenfities and paffions, and how far he has ad- 
vanced in the command of himfelf. This will anfwer 
all the purpofes of auricular confeffion. And in parti-* 
cular, every perfon fhall be made a fpy on another and 
on all around him. Notliing can efcape our fight ; by 
thefe means we fhall readily difcover who are contented, 
and receive with relifh the peculiar {late-do6lrines and 
religious opinions that are laid before them ; and, at 
laft, the truft-worthy alone will be admitted to a partici- 
pation of the whole maxims and political conftitution of 
the Order. In a council compofed of fuch members 
we fhall labour at the contrivance of means to drive by 
degrees the enemies of reafon and of humanity out of 
the world, and to eftabliHi a peculiar morality and reli- 
gion fitted for the great Society of mankind. 

" But this is a ticklifh projeB;, and requires the ut- 
moft circumfpe£lion. The fqueamifh will Hart at the 
fight of religious or political novelties ; and they muft 
be prepared for them. We muft be particularly care- 
ful about the books which we recommend ; 1 {hall con- 
fine them at firft to moralifts and reafoning hiitorians. 
This will prepare for a patient reception, in the higher 
dalles, of works of a bolder flight, fuch as Robinet's 
Syjleme de la Nature-— Politique Natiirelle — Philojophie 
de la Nature — Syjleme Social — The writings of Mira- 
baud, &c. Helvetius is fit only for the ftrongeft fto- 
machs. If any one has a copy already, neither praife 
lior find fault with him. Say nothing on Inch fubjeBs 
to intrants, for we don't know how they will be received 
-^folks are not yet prepared. Marius, an excellent 
man, muft be dealt with. His ftoraach, which cannot 
yet digeft fuch ftrong food, muft acquire a better tone. 
The allegory on which 1 am to found the myileries of 


the Higher Orders is the Jire-worfhip of the Magi. We 
mull have fome worfhip, and none is fo appofite. Let 


This is my motto, and is my fundamental principle. 
The degrees will be Feuer Orden, Parjcn Ordcn ;* all 
very pra6licable. In the courfe through thefe there will 
be no STA bene (this is the anfwer given to one who 
folicits preferment, and is refufed.) For I engage that 
jione fiiall enter this clafs who has not laid afide his pre- 
judices. No man is fit for our Order who is not a Bru- 
tus or a Catiline, and is not ready to go every length. 
■ — Tell me how you like this ?" 

Spartacus to Cato, March 1778. 

" To collect unpubliflied works, and information 
from the archives of States, will be a mofl ufeful fervice. 
We fliall be able to fliow in a very ridiculous light the 
claims of our defpots. Marius (keeper of the archives 
of the Eleftorate) has ferreted out a noble document, 
which we have got. He makes it, forfooth, a cafe of 
confcience — how filly that — fmce only that is^n, which 
is ultimately produtlive of mifchief. In this cafe, where 
the advantage far exceeds the hurt, it is meritorious vir- 
tue. It will do more good in our hands than by remain- 
ing for 1000 years on the dufty flielf." 

There was found in the hand-writing of Zwack a pro- 
je6l for a Sifterhood, in fubferviency to the defigns of the 
Illuminati. In it are the following paflages : 

* This is evidently the Myjiere du 3Ttthrus mentioned by Bar- 
ruel, in his Hiftory of Jacobinifm, and had been carried into France 
by Bede and Bufche. 


** It will be of great fervice, and procure us both 
much information and money, and will fuit charmingly 
the tafle of many of our truefh members, who are lovers 
of the fex. It fhould confift of two clalTes, the virtuous, 
and the freer hearted (i. e. thofe who fly out of the com- 
mon tra6l of prudifli manners) ; they muft not know of 
each other, and mull be under the diredion of men, 
but without knowing it. Proper books muft be put in- 
to their hands, and fuch (but fecretly) as are flattering tou 
their paflions." 

There are, in the fame hand-writing, Defcription of a 
ftrong box, which, if forced open, fliall blow up and def- 
troy its contents— ^Several receipts for procuring abor- 
tion — A compofition which blinds or kills when fpurted 
in the face — A flieet, containing a receipt for fympa- 
thetic ink — Tea for procuring abortion — Herha; qucs 
hahent qualitatem deleteriam — A method for filling a 
bed-chamber with peftilential vapours — How to take off 
impreflions of feals, fo as to ufe them aftersvards as feals 
— A colleftion of fome hundreds of fuch impreflions, 
with a lift of their owners, princes, nobles, clergymen, 
merchants, &c. — A receipt ad cxcitandum Jurorem ute- 
rinum — A manufcript entitled, " Better than Horus." 
It was afterwards printed and diftributed at Leipzig fair, 
and is an attack and bitter fatire on all religion. This 
is in the hand-writing of Ajax. As alfo a difTertation 
on fuicide. N. B. His fifter-in-law threw herfelf from 
the top of a tower. There was alfo a fet of portraits, 
or chara8ers of eighty-five ladies in Munich ; with re- 
commendations of fome of them for members of a 
Lodge of Sifter Illuminatac; alfo injuR6lions to ail iho. ■ 
Superiors to learn to write with both liands ; and thai; 
tliey fhould ufe more than Qne cypher. 


Immmediately after the publication of thefe writings, 
many defences appeared. It was faid that the dreadful 
ip.edical apparatus were v/ith propriety in the hands of 
Counfellor Zwack, who was a judge of a criminal court, 
and whofe duty it was therefore to know fuch things. 
The fame excufe w'as offered for the colleftion of feals; 
but how came thefe things to be put up with papers of 
the Illuminati, and to be in the hand writing of one of 
that Order ? V>"ei{liaupt fays, " Thefe things w^ere not 
carried into efFe8: — only fpoken of, and are juftifiable 
when taken in proper connexion." This however he 
has not pointed out ; but he appeals to the account of 
the Order, which he had publilhed at Regenfburg, and 
in which neither thefe things are to be found, nor any 
poffibility of a connection by which they may be jufti- 
fied. " All men, fays he, are fubjeft to errors, and 
the beft man is he who beft conceals them. I have ne- 
ver been guilty of any fuch vices or follies : for proof, 
I appeal to the whole tenor of my life, which my repu- 
tation, and my ftruggles with hoftile cabals, had brought 
completely into public view long before the inftitution 
of this Order, without abating any thing of that flatter- 
ing regard which was paid to me by the firft perfons of 
my country and its neighbourhood ; a regard well evin- 
ced by their confidence in me as the beft inftru6lor of 
their children." In fome of his private letters, we learn 
the means v;hich he employed to acquire this influence 
among the youth, and they are fuch as could not fail. 
But we muft not anticipate. " It is w^ell known that I 
have made the chair which I occupied in the univerfity 
of Ingoiftadt, the refort of the firft clafs of the German 
youth ; whereas formerly it had only brought round it 
the low-born praftitioners in the courts of law\ I have 
gone through the whole circle of human enquiry. I 
have exorcifed fpirits — raifed ghofts — difcovered trea- 


fares — interrogated the Cabala — hatt'e Loto g'efpielt — I 
have never tranfmuted metals." — (A very pretty and 
refpeftable circle indeed, and what vulgar fpirits would 
fcarcely have included within the pale of their curioli- 
ty.) ' " The tenor of my life has been the oppofite of 
every thing that is vile ; and no man can lay any fuch 
thing to my charge. I have reafon to rejoice that thefe 
writings have appeared ; they are k vindication of the 
Order and of my condu6l. I can, and muft declare to 
God, and I do it now in the moft folemn manner, that 
in my whole life I never faw or heard of the fo much 
condemned fecret writings ; and in particular, repe6t- 
iTJg thefe abominable means, fuch as poifoning, abor- 
tiofi, &c. was it ever known to me in any cafe, that 
any of my friends or acquaintances ever even thought 
of them, advifed them, or made any ufe of them. I 
was indeed always a fchemer and projector, but never 
could engage much in detail. My general plan is good, 
though in the detail there may be faults. I had myfelf 
to form. In another fituation, and in an aftive ftatid|i 
in life, 1 fliould have been keenly occupied, and tVfe 
founding an Order would never have come into my 
head. But I would have executed much greater things, 
had not government always oppofed my exertions, and 
placed others in the fituations which fuited my talents. 
It was the full convi8:ion of this, and of what could be 
done, if every man were placed in the office for which 
he was fitted by nature and a proper education, which 
■firft fuggefted to me the plan of illumination." Surely 
Mr. Weifhaupt had a very ferious charge, the education 
of youth ; and his encouragement in that charge was the 
moft flattering that an lUuminatus could wifii for, be- 
caufe he had brought round him the youth whofe influ- 
ence i'ri fotiety was the greateil and v,'ho would moft of 


all contribute to the diffufing good principles, and ex- 
citing to good condu8; through the whole (late. " I did 
not," fays he, " bring deifm into Bavaria more than 
into Rome. I found it here, in great vigour, more 
abounding than in any of the neighbouring Prot'cftant 
Hates. I am proud to be known to the world as the 
founder of the Order of lUuminati ; and I repeat my 
wifh to have for my epitaph, 

*' Hie Jitus ejl Phaethon^ currus auriga pater7ii, 
" Quern fi non tenuity magnis tamen excidit aitjis." 

The f^ond difcovery of fecret correfpondence at 
SanderfdorJBF, the feat of Baron Batz (Hannibal) con- 
tains flill more interefling fa6ls. 

Spartacus to Cato. 

'' What {hall I do ? I am deprived of all help. So- 
crates, who would infill on being a man of confequence 
among us, and is really a man of talents, and of a right 
way of thinking, is eternally befotted. Auguftus is in 
the worft eftimation imaginable. Alcibiades fits the day 
long with the vintner's pretty v/ife, and there he fighs 
and pines. A few days ago, at Corinth, Tiberius at- 
tempted to ravifli the wife of Democides, and her huf- 
band came in upon them. Good heavens ! what Areo- 
pagitce I have got. When the worthy man Marcus Au- 
relius comes to Athens (Munich) what will he think ? 
What a meeting with diflblute immoral wretches, whore- 
mafters, liars, bankrupts, braggarts, and vain fools ! 
When he fees all this, what will he think ? He will be 
afliamed to enter into an Aflbciation," (obfcrve, Rea- 
der, that Spartacus writes this in Auguft 17 83, in the very 
time that he was trying to murder Cato's filler) " where 



tlie chiefs raife the higheft expe6lations, and exhibit fuch 
a wretched example ; and all this from felf-will, from 
fenfuality. Am I not in the right — that this man — that 
any fuch worthy man — whofe name alone would give us 
the feleQion of all Germany — will declare that the whole 
province of Grecia (Bavaria) innocent and guilty, muft 
be excluded. I tell you, w^e may ftudy; and write, 
and toil till death. We may facrifice to the Order, our 
health, our fortune, and our reputation (alas the lofs!) 
and thefe Lords, following their own pleafures, will 
Avhore, cheat, fteal, and drive on like fhamelefs rafcals ; 
and yet muft be Areopagitcs, and interfere in every 
thing. Indeed, my dearelt friend, we have only en- 
fiaved ourfelves." 

In another part of this fine correfpondence, Diomedes 
iias had the good fortune to intercept a Q. L. (Quibus 
licet) in which it is faid, and fupported by proofs, that 
Cato had received 250 florins as a bribe for his fentence 
in his capacity as a judge in a criminal court; (the end 
had furely fanclified the means.) In another, a Miner- 
val complains of his Mentor for having by lies occafion- 
ed the difmiffion of aphyiician from a family, by which 
he obtained the cufiom of the houfe and free accefs, 
"vvhich favor he repaid by debauching the wife ; and he 
prays to be informed whether he may not get another 
Mentor, faying, that ahhough that man had always 
given him the moft excellent inftru^^ions, and he doubt- 
ed not would continue them, yet he felt a difguft at the 
hypocrify, which would certainly diminifli the impreffion 
of the moft falutary truths. (Is it not diftreffing to 
think, th-at this promifmg youth will by and l)y laugh at 
his former fim.plicity, and follow the fteps and not the 
ihftru6lions of his phyfician.) In another place, Spar- 
lacus writes to Marius (in confidence) that another Wor- 


thy Brother, an Areopagittz;,. had. ftolen a gold and a fiK 
ver watch, and a ring, from Brutus (Savioli) and begs. 
Marius, in another letter, to try, while it was yet pof-. 
fible, to get the things reftored, becaufe the culprit wa,s, 
a moft excellent man (Vortrejjlich) and, of vaft ufe to the 
Order, having the direction of an eminent feminary of 
young gendemen ; and becaufe Savioli was much in 
good company, and did not much care for the Order, 
except in fo far as it gave him an opportunity of know- 
ing and leading fome of them, and of fleering his way 
at court. 

I cannot help inferting here, though not the mofl pro- 
per place, a part of a provincial report from Knigge, 
the man of the whole Areopagitce who fhows any thing 
like urbanity or gentlenefs of mind. 

" Of my whole colony (Weflphalia) the moft brilli- 
ant is Claudiopolis (Neuioied.) There they work, and, 
direft, and do wonders." 

If there ever was a fpot upon earth where men may 
be happy in a ftate of cultivated fociety, it was the, 
little principahty of Neuwied. I faw it in 1770. The 
town was neat, and the palace handfome and in good 
tafte ; all was clean. But the country was beyond 
conception delightful ; not a cottage that was out of re- 
pair, not a hedge out of order ; it had been the hobby 
(pardon me the word) of the Prince, who made it his 
daily employment to go through his principality regu- 
larly, and affift every houfeholder, of whatever coi;idi- 
tion, with his advice, and with his purfe ; and, when a 
freeholder could not of himfelf put things into a thriving 
condition, the Prince fent his workmen and did it for 
him. He endowed fchools for the common people, and 


two academies for- the gentry and the people of bufinefK^ 
He gave little portions to the daughters, arid prizes ta 
th^ well-behaving fans of the labouring people. Hu 
owr^houfehould was a pattern, of elegance and economy ;. 
his fons were fent to Paris to learn elegance, and 10 
England to learn fcience and agriculture. In fhort, the 
whole was like a romance (and was indeed romantic.) 
I heard it fpoken of with a fmile at the table of the Bi~ 
ihop of Treves, at Ehrenbretllein, and was induced tO' 
Ice it next day as a curio fity : And yet even here, the 
fanaticifm of Kiiigge would. dillribute his poifon, and 
tell the blinded people, that drey were in a. Hate of iiu. 
and mifery, that their Prince was a defpot, and that 
they would never be happy till he was made to fly, and. 
till they were all made equal. 

They got their wifll ; the fwarm of French locufts 
fat down on Neuwied's beautiful fields in 1793, and en- 
trenched themlelves ; and in three months, Prince and 
farmers houfes, and cottages, and fchools, and acade- 
mies — all vanifhed; and all the fubjecls were made equal, 
and free (as they were exprefsly told by the French Ge- 
neral) to weep. 

Dlfcite jujiitiam moniii, et non temnere divos ! 

To proceed : 

Spartacits to Cato.' 

" By this plan we fliall direft all mankind. In this 
manner, and by the hmplefl means, we Ihall fetallin, 
motion and in flames. The occupations mud be fo al- 
lotted and contrived, thatv/iCma)', in fecret, influence 
all puhtical tranfatlions." N. B, This alludes to a part 


that is withheld from the public, becaufe it contained 
the allotment of the motl rebellious and profligate occu- 
pations to feveral perfons whofe common names could 
not be traced. " I have confidered," fays Spartacus, 
*' every thing, and fo prepared it, that if the Order 
fhould this day go to ruin, I fhall in a year re-eftablifli 
it more brilliant than ever." Accordingly it got up 
again in about this fpace of time, under the oame of the 
German Union, appearing in the form of Reading 
Societies. One of thefe was fet up in Zwack's 
houfe ; and this raifmg a fufpicion, a vifitation was 
made at Landfliut, and the firft fet of the private papers 
were found. The fcheme was, however, zealoufly pro- 
fecuted in other parts of Germany, as we fliall fee by 
and by. " Nor," continues Spartacus, " will it fignify 
though all fhould be betrayed and printed. I am fo cer- 
tain of fuccefs, in fpite of all obftacles (for the fprings 
are in every heart) that I am indifferent, though it fhould 
involve my life and my liberty. What ! Have thou- 
fands thrown away their lives about homoios and homoi- 
oujio^^ and fhall not this caufe warm even the heart of a 
coward ? But I have the art to draw advantage even 
from misfortune; and when you would think me funk to 
the bottom, I lliall rife with new vigour. Who would 
have thought, that a profefTor at Ingolftadt was to be- 
come the teacher of the profcflbrs of Gottingen, and of 
the greateft men in Germany ? ' 

Spartacus to Cato. 

" Send me back my degree of Illuminatu^ Minor ; 
it is the wonder of all men here (I may perhaps find time 
to give a tranflation of the difcourfe of reception, which 
contains all that can be faid of this Affociation to the 
public ;) as alfo the two laft fheets of my degree, which- 


is in the keeping of Marius, and Celfus, under 100 
locks which contains my hiftory of the lives of the Pa- 
triarchs." N. B. Nothing very particular has beendif- 
covered of thefe lives of the Patriarchs. He fays, that 
there were above fixty fheets of it. To judge by the 
care taken of it, it muft be a favorite work, very ha- 
zardous, and very catching. 

In another letter to Cato, we have fome hints of the 
higher degrees, and concerning, a peculiar morality, and 
a popular religion, which the Order was one day to give 
the world. He fays, " There muft (a la Jefuite) not a 
fingle purpofe ever come in fight that is ambiguous, and 
that may betray our aims againft religion and the ftate^ 
One muft fpeak fometimes one way and fometimes ano- 
ther, but fo as never to contradict ourfelves, and fo 
that, with refpeft to our true way of thinking, we may 
be impenetrable. When our ftrongeft things chance to 
give oftence, they muft be explained as attempts to 
draw anfwers which difcover to us the fentiments of the 
perfon we converfe with." N. B. This did not always 
fucceed with him. 

Spartacus fays, fpeaking of the priefts degree, " One " 
would almoft imagine, that this degree, as I have ma- 
naged it, is genuine Chriftianity, and that its end was to 
free the Jews from (lavery. I fay, that Free Mafonry 
is concealed Chriftianity. My explanation of the hiero- 
glyphics, at leaft, proceeds on this fuppofition ; and as 
I explain things, no man need be alhamed of being a 
Chriftian. Indeed I afterwards throw away this name, 
and fubftitute Reafjn. But I aftiire you this is no fmall 
affair ; a new religion, and a new ftate-government, 
which fo happily explain one and all of thefe fymbols, 
and combines them in one degree, You may think that 


this is my chief work ; but I have three other degrees, 
all different, i'ov my clafs c^ bigber iRyfleries, in com- 
parifon with which this is hut child's play ; but ihefe I 
keep for itiyfelf as General, to be beftowed by me only 
on the Bene^neritijfimi^'' (furely fiicli as Cato, his dear- 
eft friend, and the polTeffor of fuch pretty fecrets, as 
abortives, poifons, peftilential vapours, <&:c.) " The 
promoted may be Areopagites or not. Were you here 
I fliould give you this degree without hefitation. But 
it is too important to be intrufted to paper, or to be 
beftowed otherwife than from my own hand. It is the 
key to hiftory, to religion, and to every ftate-govern- 
ment in the world."* 

Spartacus proceeds, " There ftiall be but three copies 
for all Germany. You can't imagine what refpeCt and 
curiofity my prieft-degree has raifed ; and, which is 
wonderful, a famous Proteftant divine, who is now of 
the Order, is perfuaded that the religion contained in it 
is the true fenfe of Chriftianity. Oman, man! to 


would imagine that I was to be the founder of a nev 

In this "fcheme of Mafonic Chriftianity, Spartacus 
and Philo laboured ferioufly together. Spartacus fent 
him the materials, and Philo Worked them up. It will 
therefore illuftrate this capital point of the conftitution 
of the Order, if we take Philo's account of it. 

* I obferve, in other parts ef his correfpb-ftdehce ■v^'here hefpeaks 
of this, feveral lingular phrafes, which are to be found in tWo 
books ; Ant'iquite devoilee par fes Ufages., and Or'igine du Dcfpotifme 
Oriental. Thefe contain indeed much of the maxims inculcated in 
the reception difcourfe of the degree Jllum'tnatus Minor. Indeed I 
have found, that Wei'maupt is much lefs an inventor than he is 
generally thought. 


Philo to Cato. 

" We muft confider the ruling propenfities of every^ 
age of the world. At prefent the cheats and tricks of 
the priefts have roufed all men againft them, and againfl: 
Chriftianity. But, at the fame time fuperftition and fa- 
naticifm rule with unlimited dominion, and the under- 
ilanding of man really feems to be going backwards. 
Our tafk, therefore, is doubled. We muft give fuch 
an account of things, that fanatics fhall not be alarmed, 
and that fhall, notwithftanding, excite a fpirit of free en- 
quiry. We muft not throw away the good with the 
bad, the child with the dirty water ; but we muft make 
the fecret doBrines of Chriftianitv be received as the fe- 
crets of genuine Free Mafonry. But farther, we have to 
deal with the defpotiftn of Princes. This increafes every 
day. But then, the fpirit of freedom breathes and fighs 
in every corner ; and, by the affiftance of hidden fchools 
ofwifdom, Liberty and Equality, the natural and im- 
prefcriptible rights of man, warm and glow in every 
breaft. We muft therefore unite thefe extremes. We 
proceed in this manner. 

" Jefus Chrift eftabliflied no new Religion ; he 
would only fet Religion and Reafon in their ancient 
rights. For this purpofe he would unite men in a com- 
mon bond. He v/ould fit them for this by fpreading a 
juft morality, by enlightening the underftanding, and by 
aiTifting the mind to fhake off all prejudices. He would 
teach all men, in the firft place, to govern themfelves. 
Rulers would then be needlefs, and equality and liberty 
would take place without any devolution, by the natural 
md gentle operation of* reafon arid expediency. This 



great Teacher allows himfelf to explain every part of 
the Bible in conformity to thefe purpofes ; and he for- 
bids all ^\^rangling among his fcholars, becaufe every 
man may there hnd a reafonable application to his pe- 
culiar do6lrines. Let this be true or falfe, it does not 
fignify. This vv'^as a fimple Religion, and it was fo far 
infpired ; but the minds of his hearers were not fitted 
for receiving thefe doctrines. I told you, fays he, but 
you could not bear it. Many therefore were called, but 
few were chofen. To thefe ele6i were cntrufted the moft 
important fecrets ; and even among them there were 
degrees of information. There was a feventy, and a 
twelve. All this was in the natural order of things, and 
according to the habits of the Jews, and indeed of all 
p.ntiquity. The Jewifh Theofophy was a myftery ; 
like the Elcufinian, or the Pythagorean, unfit for the 
vulgar. And thus the doQrines of Chriflianity were 
committed to the Adepti, in a Difciplina Arcani. , "Sty 
thefe they were maintained, like the Veftal Fire. They 
v/ere kept up, only in hidden focieties, who handed them 
down to pofterity ; and they are pow pofieffed by the 
genuine Free Mafons.*" 

N. B. This explains the origin of many anonymous 
pamphlets which appeared about this time in Germany, 
fliowing that Free Mafonry was Chriftianity. They 
have doubtlefs been the works of Spartacus and his par- 
tizans among the Ecleftic Mafons. Nicholai, the great 
apoftle of infidelity, had given very favorable reviews of 
thefe performances, an.d having always fliewn himfelf an 
advocate of fuch writers as depreciated Chriftianity, it 
was natural for him to take this opportunity of bringing 
it ftill lower in the opinion of the people. Spartacus 
therefore conceived a high opinion of the importance 
of gaining Nicholai to the Order. He had before this 


gained Leuchtfenring, a hot-headed fanatic, who had 
fpied Jefuits in every* corner, and fet.Nicholai on his 
journey through Germany, to hunt them out. This 
man finding them equally hated by the Illuminati, was 
cafily gained, and was moft zealous in their caufe. He 
engaged Nicholai, and Spartacus exults exceedingly in 
the acquilition, faying, " that he was an unwearied 
champion, et qicidem contentijfimus." Of this man Phi- 
lo fays, " that he had fpread this Chriftianity into every 
corner of Germany. I have put meaning," fays Philo, 
*' to all thefe dark fymbols, and have prepared both de- 
grees, introducing beautiful ceremonies, which I have 
felefted from among thofe of the ancient communions, 
combined with thofe of the Rofaic Mafonry ; and now," 
fays he, " it will appear that zue are the only true 
Chriftians. We fhall now be in a condition to fay a 
few words to Priefts and Princes. I have fo contrived 
things, that I would admit even Popes and Kings, after 
the trials which I have prefixed 3 and they would be 
olad to be of the Order.'" 


But how is all this to be reconciled with the plan of 
Illumination, which is to banifh Chriftianity altogether. 
Philo himfelf in many places fays, " that it is only a 
cloak, to prevent fqueamifli people from ftarting back." 
This is done pretty much in the fame way that was prac- 
tifed in the French Mafonry. In one of their degrees, 
the Mafter's degree is made typical of the death of Jefus 
Chrift, the preacher of Brotherly love. But, in the next 
ilep, the Chevalier du Soleil, it is Reat'on that has been 
dcftroyed and entombed, and the Mafter in this degree, 
the Si'Jjiime Fhilofopke, occafions the difcovcry of the 
place where the body is hid; Reafon riies again, and fu- 
perftition and tyranny difappear, and all bccoines clear ; 
man becomes free and happy. 

Let \1j hear Spartacus aq;ain/ 


Spartacus, in another place. 

'' Wemuft, ift. gradually explain away all our pre- 
paratory pious frauds. And when perfons of difcern- 
ment find fault, we muil defire them to confider the end 
of all our labour. This fanftifies our means, which at 
any rate are harmlefs, and have been ufeful, even in: 
this cafe, becaufe they procured us a patient hearing, 
•when otherwife men would have turned away from us 
like petted children. This will convince them of our 
fentiments in all the intervening points ; and our ambi- 
guous expreflions will then be interpreted into aij endea- 
vour to draw anfwers of any kind, which may fliow us 
the minds of our pupils. 2d. We muft unfold, from 
hiftory and other writings, the origin and fabrication of 
all religious lies whatever ; and then, ^. We give a 
critical hi (lory of the Order. But I cannot but laugh, 
when I think of the ready reception which all this has 
jnet with from the grave and learned divines of Germany 
and of England ; and I wonder how their William fail- 
ed when he attempted to ellablifli a Deiftical Woriliip 
in London (what can this mean ?*) for, I am certain, 
that it mufl have been moft acceptable to that learned 
and free people. But they had not the enlightening of 
our days." I may here remark, that Weifhaupt is pre- 
fuming too much on the ignorance of his friend, for 
there was a great deal of this enlightening in England at 
the time he fpeaks of, and if I am not miftakcn, even 
this celebrated Profeifor of Irreligion has borrowed moft 
of his fcheme from this kingdom. This to be fure is 
jiothing in our praife. But the Pamtheisticon of 
Tolaud refemhles WeiOiaupt's Illumination in every 
thing but its rebellion and its villany. Toland's Socra- 
tic Lodge is an elegant pattern for Weiiliaupt, and his 

* It means an attempt made by David WiUUimfi [Am ; EJ] 


Triumph of Reafon, his Philoiophic Happinefs, his 
God, or Anima Mi'Jidi, are all To like the harfh fyfleii^ 
of SpartacQs, that I am convinced that he has copiedi 
them, ftamping them with the roiighnefs of his own char 
ratier. But to go on ; Spartacus fays of the Engliih : 
" Their poet Pope made his Eifay on Man a fyftem of 
pure naturalifm, without knowing it, as Brother Chry^ 
fippus did with nny Prieft's Degree, and was equally 
aftonilhed when this was pointed out to him. Chryfip;- 
pus is religious, but not fuperftitious. Brother Luciaa 
(Nicholai, of whom I have already faid fo much) fays, 
that the grave ZoUkofer now allows that it would be ^ 
.very proper thing to eftablifh a Deidical Worfnip at 
Berlin. I am not afraid but things will go on very well. 
But Philo, who was entrtiiied with iraming the Prieft's 
'Degree, has deftroyed it without any neceffity ; it 
would, forfooth, ftartle thofe who have a hankering for 
Religion. But I always told you that Philo is fanatical 
and prudifli. I gave him fine materials, and he has 
. fluffed it full of ceremonies and child's play, and as Mi- 
nos fays, c'eji jouer la religion. But all this may be 
correfted in the revifion by the Areopagiia:" 

N. B. I have already mentioned Baron Knigge*s 
converfion to Illuminatifm by the M. de Conftanza, 
whofe name in the Order was Diomedes. Knigge 
(henceforth Philo) was, next to Spartacus, the moft 
ferviceable man in the Order, and procured the greateft 
number of mevribers. It was chiefly by his exertions 
among the Mafons in the Protetlant countries, that the 
Edetlic Syjlnn was introduced, and afterwards brought 
under the dlrettion of the liluminaii. . This conquefl 
was owing entirely to his very extenfive connetlions 
among the Mafons. He travelled like a philofopher 
from city to cityj from Lodge to Lodge, and even 


fiom houfe to houfe, before his Illumination, trying to 
unite the Mafons, and he now went over the fame ground 
to extend the EcleBic Syjlem^ and to get the Lodges put 
under the direction of the Illuminati, by their choice of 
the Mafter and Wardens. By this the Order had an op- 
portunity of noticing the conduft of individuals ; and 
■when they had found out their manner of thinking, and 
that they were fit for their purpofe, they never quitted 
them till they had gained them over to their party. We 
have feen, that he was by no means void of religious 
impreffions, and we often find him offended with the 
atheifm of Spartacus. Knigge wa^. at the fame time a 
man of the world, and had kept good company. Vv^'eif- 
haupt had pafled his life in the habits of a college. 
Therefore he knew Knigge's value, and communicated 
to him all his projefts, to be dreffed up by him for the" 
tafte of fociety. Philo was of a much more affedionate 
difpofition, with fomething of a devotional turn, and 
was fhocked at the hard indifference of Spartacus. Af- 
ter labouring four years with great zeal, he was provoJc- 
ed with the difingenuous tricks of Spartacus, and he 
broke off all conneftion with the Society in 1784, and 
fomc time after publifhed a declaration of all that he 
had done in it. This is a moft excellent account of the 
plan and principles of the Order (at leaft as he conceiv- 
ed it, for Spartacus had much deeper views) and fhows 
that the aim of it was to abolifli Chriftianity, and all the 
Itate-governments in Europe, and to eftablifh a great re - 
public. But it is full of romantic notions and cnthufi- 
aflic declamation, on the hackneyed topics of univerfal 
citizenfhip, and liberty and equality. Spartacus gave 
him line, and allowed him to work on, knowing that 
he could difcard him when he chofe. I fliall after this 
give fome extrafts from Fhilo's letters, from which the 
reader will fee the vile behaviour of Spartacus j and the 


nature of his ultimate views. In the mean time we may 
proceed with the account of the principles of the fyftem. 

Spariacus to Catt), 

" Nothing would be more profitable to us than a 
right hiftory of mankind. DefpotiFm has robbed thera 
of their liberty. How can the weak obtain prote8:ion? 
Only by union ; but this is rare. Nothing can bring 
this about but hidden focieties. Hidden fchools of wif- 
dom are the means which will one day free men from 
their bonds. Thefe have in all ages been the archive^i 
of nature, and of the rights of men ; and by them lliaii 
human nature be raifcd from her fallen ftate. Princes 
and nations (hall vanilli from the earth. The human 
race will then become one family, and the world will be 
the dwelling of rational men. 

" Morality alone can do this. The head of every 
family will be what Abraham was, the patriarch, the 
prieft, and the unlettered lord of his family, and Reafon 
will be the code of laws to all mankind. This," fays 
Spartacus, " is our great secret. True, there may 
be fome difturbance ; but by and by the unequal wil! 
become equal ; and after the ftorm all will be calm. 
Can the unhappy confequences remain when the grounds 
of did'cnfion are removed ? Roufe yourfelves therefore, 
O men ! afifert your rights ; and then will Reafon rule 
with unperceived fway ; and all shall be happy.* 

'* Happy France ! Cradle of illumination, where die morning 
of Reafon has dawned, difpelling the clouds of Monarchy and 
Ghriftianity, where the babe has fucked the blood of the unenlight- 
ened, and Murder ! Fire ! Help ! has been the lullaby to fmg it 
to fleep. 


" Morality will perrorm all this ; and morality is ihd 
fruit of Illumination; duties and rights are reciprocaL 
Where Ociavias has no right, Cato o;ves him no duty. 
Illumination Ihews us our ridits, and Morality follows; 
that Morality which teaches us to be of age^ to he out of 
'U)ardenjlii.p, to be full groxon^ and to walk without the 
leading-firings of pricjls and princes. 

" Jcfas of Nazareth, the Grand Matter of our Or- 
der, appeared at a tiroe when the world was in the utmoft 
diforder, and among a people who for ages had groaned 
under the yoke of bondage. He taught them the lef- 
fons of reafon. To be more efFeBivej he took in the aid 
of Religion — of opinions which were current — and, in 
a ver.y clever manner^ he combined his fecret do8rines 
with the popular religion, and widi the cuftoms which 
lay to iris hand. In thefe he wrapped up his le(ibns-»- 
h^ taught by parables. Never did any prophet lead men 
ib'^.ahly and fo fecurely along the road of liberty. lie 
lonccaled the precious meaning and confequences of his 
yorcirines ; but fully difclofed them to a chofen few. 
He fpcaks of a kingdom of the uprioht and faithful : his 
Father's kingdom, whofe children we alfo are. Let us 
only tjike Liberty and Equality as the great aim of his 
doclrines, and Morality as the way to attain it, and eve- 
ry thing in the New Teftaraent will be comprehenfible ;, 
end jefus will appear as the Redeemer of flaves. Man 
is fallen from the condition of Liberty and Equality, 
the STATE OF PURE NATURE. He is uudcr fubordi- 
nation and civil bondage, arifmg from the vices of man. 
This is the pall, and original sin. The k i n g - 
POM OF G^ACE is that reftoration which may be brought 
about by Illumination and ajuft Morality. This is the 
NEW BIRTH. When man lives under government, Jje 
is fallen, his worth is sone," and his nature tarniflicd. 


By fubduing our paflions, or limiting their cravings, we 
may recover a great deal of our original worth, and live 
in a ftate of grace. This is the redemption of men — this 
is accompiiflied by Morality -, and when this is fpread 
over the world, we have the kingdom of the just. 

" But alas ! the tafli of felf-formation was too hard 
Cor the fubjefts of the Roman empire, corrupted by 
every fpecies of profligacy. A chofen few received 
the doctrines in fecret, and they have been handed down 
to us (but frequently almoft buried under rubbifh of 
man's invention) by the Free Mafons. Thefe three 
conditions of human fociety areexprelTed by the rough, 
the fpiit and the poliflied Hone. The rough ftone, and 
the one that is fplit, exprefs our condition under ci- 
vil government ; rough by every fretting inequality of 
condition ; and fplit, fmce we are no longer one family; 
and are farther divided by differences of government, 
rank, property,- and religion ; but when reunited in one 
family, we are reprefented by the poliflied ftone. G. is 
Grace ; the Flaming Star is the Torch of Reafon. 
Thofe who poffefs this knowledge are indeed Illumi- 
N ATI. Hiram is our fiQitious Grand Mafter, flain for 
the REDEMPTION OF SLAVES ; tlic Niuc Maftcrs are 
the Founders of the Order. Free Mafonry is a Royal 
Art, inafmuch as it teaches us to walk without trammels, 
and to govern ourfelves." 

Reader, are you not curious to learn fomething of this 
all-powerful morality, fo operative on the heart of the 
truly illuminated — of this difciplina arcani, entufted on- 
ly to the chofen few, and handed down to ProfelTor 
Weifhaupt, to Spartacus, and his affociates, who havr 
cleared it of the rubbifh heaped on it by the dim-lighted 



Mafons, and now beaming in its native luure on the 
■minds of the Arecpagitis ? The teachers of ordinary 
Chriftianity have been labouring for almoft 2000 years, 
vith the New Teftament in their hands ; many of them 
.with great addrefs, and many, 1 believe, with honeft 
zeal. But alas ! they cannot produce fuch wonderful 
and certain effefts (for obferve, that Weifhaupt repeat- 
edly allures us that his means are certain) probably for 
Vv'ant of this difciplina arcarJ, of whofe efficacy fo much 
is faid. Moft fortunately, Spartacus has given us a 
brilliant fpecimen of the ethics which illuminated him- 
fclf on a trying occafion, where an ordinary Chriflian 
W'ould have been much perplexed, or would have taken 
a road v^'idely different from that of this illuiirious apof- 
de of light. And feeing that feveral of the Areopcgitx 
co-operated in the tranfaftion, and that it was carefully 
concealed from the profane and dim-fighted world, we 
can have no doubt but that it was condu6led accordincr 


to the difciplina arcani of Illumination. 1 fliall give it 
in his own words . 

Spirtacus to Mariu^^ September ij^!^' 

" I am now in the moft embarrafTing fituation ; it 
robs me of all reft, and makes me unfit for every thing. 
I am in danger of lofmg at once my honor and my repu- 
tation, by which I have long had fuch influence. What 
think you — my fifter-in-law is with child. I have fent 
her to Euriphon, and am endeavouring to procure a 
marriage-licence from Rome. How much depends 011 
this uncertainty — and there is not a moment to lofe. 
Should I fail, what is to be done ? What a return do I 
make by this to a perfon to whom I am fo much oblig- 
ed ! (we fhall fee^the probable meaning of this exclaraa- 
lion by and by.) W^e have tried every method in our 


power to dcflroy the child ; arid I hope (lie is determined 
on cverv thin^r — even d — . (Can this mean death ?) 
But alas! Euriphon is, I fear, too timid (alas! poor 
woman, thou art now under the difciplina arcani) and I- 
fee no other expedient. Could I be but afTured of the 
iilence of Cclfas (a. phyfician at Ino;old(ladt) he can re- 
lieve me, and he prowoijed me as much three years ago. 
Do fpeak to him., if you think he v;ill be (launch. I 
would not let Cato (his deareft friend, and his chief or 
only confidant in the fcheme of IHumination) know it 
yet, becaufe the affair in other reipefts requires his 
Vv'hole friendfhip. (Cato had all the pretty receipts.) 
Could you but help me out of this diftrefs, you would 
give me life, honor, and peace, and Jlrength to work- 
again in the great caufe. If you cannot, be afllircd I 
will venture on the mofl defperaie ftroke (poor fifter !) 
for it is fixed. — I will not lofe my honor. I cannot 
conceive what devil has made me to go aftray — vie who 
hdvs always been Jo careful onfuch occajions.. As yet all 
is quiet, and none know of it but you and Euriphon. 
Were it but time to undertake any thing — but alas ! \t 
is the fourth month. Thefe damned priefts too — for the 
adion is fo criminally accounted by them, and fcanda- 
iifes the blood. This makes the utmoil efforts and the 
moil dcfperate meafures abfolutely neceilary.'' 

It will throw fome light on this tranfatlion if v/e read 
a letter from Spartacus to Cato about this time. 

" One thiniT more, my deared friend—- Would it bs- 
a'^reeable to you to have me for a brother-in-law. If 
this fhould be agreeable, and if it can be brou:;ht about 
widiout prejudice to my honor, as I hope it may, I 
am not without hopes that the connection may take 
place. But in the mean time keep it a fecret, and only 


give me permifiion to enter into correfpondence on thc^ 
fubjeO; with the good lady, to whom I beg you will of- 
fer my refpe6lful compliments, and I will explain ray- 
felf more fully to you by word of mouth, and tell you 
my whole fituation. But I repeat it — the thing mull be- 
gone about with addrefs and caution. I would not for 
all the world deceive a perfon who certainly has not de- 
fer ved fo of me." 

What interpretation can be put on this ? Cato feems 
to be brother to the poor woman — he was unwittingly 
to furniih the drugs, and he was to be dealt with about 
confenting to a marriage, which could not be altogether 
agreeable to him, fince it required a dilpenfation, (he 
being already the iifter-in-law of Weifliaupt, either the 
fifter of his former wife, or the widow of a deceafed 
brother. Or perhaps Spartacus really wiflics to marry 
Cato's fifter, a different perfon from the poor woman 
in the ftraw ; and he conceals this adventure from his 
trufty friend Cato, till he fees what becomes of it. The 
child may perhaps be got rid of, and then Spartacus is a 
free man. There is a letter to Cato, thanking him for 
his friendfhip in the affair of the child^ — but it gives n6 
light. I meet with another account, that the fifter of 
Zwack threw herfelf from the top of a tower, and beat 
out her brains. But it is not faid that it was an only 
iifter ; if it was, the probability is, that Spartacus had 
paid his addreifcs to her, and fucceeded, and that the 
fubfequent affair of his marriage with his fifter-in-law or 
fomething woiic, broke her heart. This feeras the befl 
account of the matter. For Hertel (Marius) writes t^ 
Zwack in November 1782 : "Spartacus is this day 
gone home, but has left his fifter-in-law pregnant behind, 
(this is from BalTus HofT.) About the new year he 
hopes to be made merry by a — — , v;ho will be before 


aU kings and princes — ^a young Spartaciis. Tlie Pope 
alio will refpeti liim, and legitimate him before the time." 

Now, vulgar Chriftian, compare this with the former 
declaration of Weilliaupt, in page 112, where he appeals 
to the tenor of his- former life, which had been fo feverc- 
iy fcrutinifed, without diiaaimlhing his high reputation 
and great influence, and hir, ignorance and abhorrence 
of all thofe things found 'm Cato's repoiit(M-ies. You fee 
this was a fufprife-H-he had formerly pro-ceeded cauti- 
dufly.— He is the befl man," fays Spartacus, ^' who beO, 
conceals his faults." — -He was difappointed by Celfus, 
who had prom.ijed him his ajjifiance on fiuh occajiom 
three years ago, during which time he had been bufy in 
" forming himfelf." How far he has advanced, ths 
reader may judge. 

One is curious to know what became of the poor wo- 
jjian : file was afterwards taken to the houfe of Baron 
Baff'us ; but here the foolilfi woman, for want of that 
courage which Illumination, and the bright profpeft of 
eternal lleep fhould have produced, took fright at the 
■difciplina arcani,- left the houfe, and in the hidden fo- 
■ciety of a midwife and nurfe brought forth a young 
Spartacus, who now lives to thank his father for his en- 
deavours to murder him. A " d'mned priejl^" the good 
Bifliop of Freyfingen, knowing the cogent reafons, pro- 
cured the difpenfation, and Spartacus was obliged, like 
another dim-fighted mortal, to marry her. The fcar,- 
dal was hufhed, and would not have been diicovcred 
had it not been for thefe private writings. 

But Spartacus fays (page 118) " that when yoa think 

him funk to the bottom, he will fpring up with double 

■vigour." In a fubfcf^uem work called Short Amendment 


cj my Plan^ he fays, " If men were not habituated icr 
wicked manners, his letters would be their own juftifi- 
cation." He does not fay that he is without fault ; " but 
thev are faults of the underftanding — not of the heart. 
He had, firft of all, to forrahimfelf ; and this is a work 
of time." In the affair of his fifter-in-law he admits the 
fa8;s, and the attempts to deftroy the child ; " but this 
is far from proving any depravity of heart. In his con- 
dition, his honor at flake, whatelfe was left him to do ? 
His greatefl enemies, the Jefuits, have taught that in 
fuch a cafe it is lawful to make away with the child," 
and he quotes authorities from their books. "In the 
introductory faul.t he has the example of the beft of 
men. The fecond was its natural confequence, it was 
altogether involuntary, and, in the eye of aphilofophi- 
cal judge (I prefume of the Gallic School) who does 
not fquare himfelf by the harih letters of a biood-thirjiy 
lawgiver,, he has but a very trifling account to fettle. 
He had become a public teacher, and was greatly fol- 
lowed ; this example might have ruined many young men. 
The eyes of the Order alfo were fixed on him. The 
edifice refled on his credit ; had he fallen, he could no 
longer have been in a condition to treat the ^natters oj vir- 
tue Jo as to make a lajlmg imprejfion. It was chiefly his 
anxiety to fupport the credit of the Order which deter- 
mined him to take thi« ftep. It makes for him, but by 
no means againji him ; and the perfons who are moft in 
fault are the flavifli inquiiitors, who have publiflied the 
iranfaclion, in order to make his character more remark- 
able, and to hurt the Order through his perfon ; and 
they have not fcrupled, for this hellifti purpofe, to flir 
up a child againil its father ! ! !" 

I make no refletlions on this very remarkable, and 
highly ufeful fiery, but contejit myfelf with faying, that 


tl^sj unification by Weilhaupt (which I have been care- 
ful to give in his own words) is the greateft inftance of 
elFrontery and infuh on the fentiments of mankind that 
I have ever met with. We are all fuppofed as com- 
pletely corrupted as if we had lived under the full blaze 
of Illumination. 

In other places of this curious correfpondence we 
learn that Minos, and others of the Areopagitce, M-antcd 
to introduce Atheifm at once, and not go hedging in the 
manner they did; affirming it was eafier to {how at once 
that Atheifm was friendly to fociety, than to explain all 
their Mafonic Chriftianity, which they were afterwards 
to fhow to be a bundle of lies. Indeed this purpofe, of 
not only abolifliing Chriftianity, but all pofitive religion 
whatever, was Weifliaupt's favorite fcheme from the be- 
ginning. Before he canvaffed for his Order, in 1774, 
he publiflied a fiditious antivque, which he called Sidonii 
ApoUtnans Fragmenta^ to prepare (as be exprefsly fayvS 
in another place) mens minds for the doctrines of Rea- 
fon, which contains all the deteftable doctrines of Robi- 
net's Syjleme de la Nature. The publication of the fe- 
cond part was Itopped. Weifhaupt fays, in his Apo- 
logy FOR THE Illumin ATI, that before 1780 he had 
•retraced his opinions about Materialifm, and about the 
inexpediency of Princes. But this is falfe : Philo fays 
•exprefsly, that every thing remained on its original foot- 
ing in the whole praQice and dogmas of the Order when 
he quitted it in July 1784. All this was concealed, and 
even the abominable Malbnry, in the account of the Or- 
der which Weilhaupt publilhed at Regenfburg ; and it 
required the conftant efforts of Philo to prevent bars or 
flat Atheifm from being uniformly taught in their de- 
grees. He had told the council that Zeno would not 
be under a roof with a man who denj'ed the immortalitv 


©f tl:;? foul. He complains of Minoji's cramming irreli- 
cioa apwiTi tneir throats jn every meeting, and iays, that 
he frighten<jd many from entering the Order. " Truth," 
fays Fhilo, " is a clever, by t a modeft girl, who muft be 
led by th^ .hand like a gentle^^oman, but not kicked 
about like a whore." Spartacus complains much of the 
fqeamiflmefs of Philo ; yet Philo is not a great deal be^ 
hind him in irreligion. V/hen defcribing to Cato the 
Chriftianity of the Prieft-degree, as be had manufaftur- 
ed it, he lays, " It is all one whether it be true or falfc, 
we muft have it, that we may tickle thofe who have a . 
hankering for religion." All the odds feems to be, that 
he was of a gentler difpofition, and had more deference 
even for the abfurd prejudices of others. In one of 
his angry letters to Cato he fays ; " The vanity and felf 
conceit of Spartacus would have got the better of all 
prudence, had I not checked him, and prevailed on the 
Areopagitcc but to defer the developement of the bold 
principles till we had firmly fecured the man. I even 
widied to entice the candidate the more by giving him 
back all his former bonds of fecrecy, and leaving him at 
liberty to w'alk out without fear ; and I am certain that 
they were, by this time, fo engaged that we fhould not 
have loft one man. But Spartacus had compofed an 
exhibition of his laft principles, far a difcourfe of recep- 
tion, in which he painted his three favorite myfterious 
xlegrees, which were to be conferred by him alone, in co- 
lours which had fafcinated his ow^n fancy. But they 
were the colours of hell, and v;ould have feared the moft 
intrepid ; and becaufe I reprefented the danger of this, 
and by force obtained the omiffion of this piflure, h.e 
became my implacable enemy. I abhor treachery and 
.profligacy, and leave him to blew himfelf and his Order 
in the air." 


Accordingly this happened. It was this which terri* 
fied one of the four profeflbrs, and made him impart 
his doubts to tlie reft. Yet Spartacus feems to have pro- 
lited by the apprehenfions of Philo ; for in the laft re-» 
ception, he, fof the firft time, exacts a bond from the 
intrant, engaging himfelf for ever to the Order, and 
fwearing that he will never draw back. Thus admit- 
ted, hS becomes a fure card. The courfe of his life is 
in the hands of the Order, and his thoughts on a thou- 
fand dangerous points; his reports concerning his neigh- 
bours and friends ; in fhort, his honor and his neckj 
The Deift, thus led on, has not far to go before he be- 
comes a Naturalift or Atheift ; and then the eternal 
fleep of death crowns all his humble hopes. 

Before giving an account of the higher degrees, I 
{hall juft extra6l from one letter more on a fmgular 

Minos to Sebajlian, 1782. 

" The propofal of Hercules to eftablifli a Minerval 
fchool for girls is excellent, . but requires much circum- 
fpefl-ion. Philo and I have long convcrfed on this fub- 
jeQ:. , We cannot improve the world without improv- 
ing women, who have fuch a mighty influence on the 
men. But how fhall we get hold of them ? How will 
their relations, particularly their mothers, immerfed in 
prejudices, confent that others (hall influence their edu- 
cation ? We muft begin with grown girls. Hercules 
propofes the wife of Ptolemy Magus. I have no ob- 
jeftion ; and I have four ftep-daughters, .fine girls. The 
oldeft in particular is excellent. She is twenty-fourj 
has read much, is above all prejudices, and in religion 



fhe thinks as I do. They have much acquaintance 
araong t\it young ladies their relations (N. B. we don't 
know the rank of Minos, but as he does not ufe the 
word Damen, but Fr.auenzimmer^ it is probable that it 
is not high.) It may immediately be a very pretty So- 
ciety, under the management of Ptolerny's wife, but re- 
ally under his management. You muft contrive pretty 
d^rees, and drefTes, and ornaments, and elegant and 
decent rituals. No man muft be admitted. This will 
make them become more keen, and they will go much 
farther than if we were prefent, or than if they thought 
that we knew of their proceedings. Leave them to the 
fcope of their own fancies, and they will foon invent 
xnyfteries which will put us to the blulh, and create an 
enthufiafm which we can never equal. They will be 
our great apoftles. Reflect on the refpe£l, nay the awe 
and terror infpired by the female myftics of antiquity. 
(Think of the Danaids — think of the Theban Bacchantes.) 
Ptolemy's wife muft direB them, and fne will be in- 
ftrufted by Ptolemy, and my ftep-daughters will confult 
with me. We muft always be at hand to prevent the in- 
trodudion of any improper queftion. We muft pre- 
pare themes for their difcuflion — thus we ftiall confefs 
them, and infpire them with our fentiments. No man 
.however muft come near them. This will fire their 
roving fancies, and w^emay expeft rare myfteries. But 
I am doubtful whether this AfFociation will be durable. 
Women are fickle and impatient. Nothing will pleafe 
them but hurrying from degree to degree, through a 
heap of infignificant ceremonies, which will foon lofe 
their novelty and influence. To reft ferioufly in one 
rank, and to be ftill and filent when they have found out 
that the whole is a cheat (hear the words of an experi- 
enced Mafon) is a talk of which they are incapable. 
They have not our motives to perfevere for years, al- 


towing themfelves to be led about, and even then to hold 
their tongues when they find that they have been deceiv- 
<ed. Nay there is a rifk that they may take it into their 
heads to give things an oppofite turn, and then, by vo- 
luptuous allurcraents, heightened by afiPe6led modefty 
and decency, M'hich give them an irrefiftiblc empire 
over the bed men, they may turn our Order upiide 
down, and in their turn will lead the new one." 

Such is the information which may be got from the 
private correfporidence. It is needlefs to make more 
extra6ls of every kind of vice and trick. I have taken 
fuch as fhow a little of the plan of the Order, as far as 
the degree of lUuminatus Minor, and the vile purpofes 
which are concealed under all their fpecious declamation. 
A very minute account is given of the plan, the ritual, 
ceremonies, &:c. and even the inftru8;ions and difcourfesj 
in a book called the Aihte Iliuminat, publilhed at Edejjd 
(Frankfurt) in 1787. Philo fays, " that this is quite 
accurate, but that he does not know the author." I pro- 
ceed to give an account of their higher degrees, as they 
are to be feen in the book called Neicefie Arbeitung des 
Spartacus und Philo, And the authenticity of the ac- 
counts is attefted by Grollman, a private gentleman^^of 
independent fortune, who read them, figned and fealed 
by Spartacus and the Areopagita;. 

The feries of ranks and progrefs of the pupil werear« 
ranged as follows : 

(- ----- Preparation, 

- - - - - - Novice, 

- - - - - - Mmerval, 

- - - - - - Illumin, Minor*. 


rSym- f 
I bolic < 

iONRY, -^ [^ 

- - - Apprentice, 

- - - Fellow Craftt 
Masonry,-^ (^ _ _ . . Mafter, 

Scotch J f««™- «";■<"■. Scotch Novice, 

\ Ilium, dtrigens, bcotch Knight, 

Leffer, i Prefbyter, Prieft, 
' 1^ Frince, Regent, 

J Magi 

-Mysteries. ^ , ,, 

Greater, i ^''«"^' 

The Reader mufl; be alnioft fick of fo much villany, 
and would be difgufted with the minute detail, in which 
the cant of the Order is ringing continually in his ears. 
I fhall therefore only give fuch a fliort extrad as may 
fix our notions of the objeft of the Order, and the 
morality of the means employed for attaining it. We 
need not go back to the lower degrees, and fhall begin 
with the ILLUMINATUS D I RIG ENS, or Scotch 

After a fhort introduftion, teaching us how the holy 
fecret Chapter of Scotch Knights is aflembled, we have, 

I. Fuller accounts and inftru6lions relating to the whole. 

II. InftruQions for the lower claflcs of Mafonry. III. 
Inftrudions relating to Mafon Lodges in general, IV. 
Account of a reception into this degree, with the bond 
which each fubfcribes before he can be admitted. V, 
Concerning the folemn Chapter for reception. VI. 
Opening of the Chapter. VII. Ritual of Receptignj 
and the Oath. VIII. Shutting of the Chapter. IX. 
Agapi, or Love Feaft. X. Ceremonies of the confe- 
cration of the Chapter, Appendix A, Explanation of 
the Symbols of Free Mafoiuy. B, Catcchifm fair the 
Scotch Knight. C, Secret Cypher. 


In No. I. it is faid that the " chief ftudy of the Scotch 
Knight is to work on all men in fuch a way as is moil 
infmuating. II. He mull endeavour to acquire the 
pofleffion of confiderable property. III. In all Mafon 
Lodges we mud try fecretly to get the upper hand. The 
Mafons do not know what Free Mafonry is, their high 
;obje6ls, nor their highell Superiors, and fliould be di- 
rected by thofe who will lead them along the right road. 
In preparing a candidate for the degree or Scotch Knight- 
hood, we mull bring him into dilemmas by catching 

■ queftions. — We muft endeavour to get the difpofal of 
the money of the Lodges of the Free Mafons, or at 
Jeaft take care that it be applied to purpoles favorable: 
to our Order — but this mull be done in a way that IhaU 
not be remarked. Above all, we muil pulh forwar-d 
^ith all our ikill*, the plan of Ecleftic Mai'onry^, and for 
this purpofe follow up the circular letter already fent to 
all the Lodges with every thing that can increafo their 
prefent embarraflment." In the bond of No. I V. the 
candidate binds himfelf to " confider and treat the IlUi- 
minati as the Superiors of Free Mafonry, and endea- 
vour in all the Maibn Lodges which he frequents, to 
have the Mafonry of the Illuminated, and particularly 

■ the Scotch Noviciate, introduced into the Lodge." 
(This is not very different from the Mafonry of the 
Chevalier de V Aigle of the Rofaic Mafonry, making 
the Mailer's degree a fort of commemoration of the paf- 
fion, but without giving that character to ChriRianit/ 
wlhich is peculiar to Illuminatifm.) Jefus Chrill is re- 
prefented as the enemy of fuperftitious obfervances, and 
the affertor of the Empire of Reafon and of Brotherly 
love, and his death and memory as dear to man kind. 
This evidently paves the way for V/eifhaupt's Chrifti- 
anity. The Scotch Knight alfo engages "to coniider 
the Superiors of the Order as the uiikiiown Supenoii 


of Free Mafonry, and to contribute all he can to tlieir 
gradual union." In the Oath, No. VII. the candidate 
fays, " I will never more be a flatterer of the great, I 
will never be a lowly fervant of princes ; but I will ftrive 
with fpirit, and with addrefs, for virtue, wifdom, and 
liberty. I will powerfully oppofe fuperftition, flander, 
and defpotifm; fo, that like a true fon of the Order, I 
may ferve the world. I will never facrifice the general 
good, and the happinefs of the world, to my private 
intereft. I will boldly defend my Brother againft flan- 
der, will follow out the traces of the pure and true Re- 
ligi6n pointed out to me in my inftruclions, and in the 
do^rines of Mafonry ; and will faithfully report to my 
Superiors the progrefs I make therein." 

When he gets the fl;roke which dubs him a Knight-, 
the Prefes fays to him, " Now prove thyfelf, by thy 
ability, equal to Kings, and never from this time for- 
ward bow thy knee to one who is, like thyfelf, but a 

No. IX is an account of the Love-Feaft. 

i/?. There is a Table Lodge, opened as ufual, but 
in virtue of the ancient Mafter-word. Then it is faid, 
" Let moderation, fortitude, morality, and genuine 
love of the Brethren, with the overflowing of innocent 
and carelefs mirth reign here." (This is almoft verba- 
tim from Toland.) 

2c/, In the middle of a bye-table is a chalice, a pot 
of wine, an empty plate, and a plate of unleavened 
bread-i-All is covered with a green cloth. 


3^, When the Table Lodge is ended, and the Pre- 
fed fees no obftacle, he ftrikes on this bye-table the 
ftroke of Scotch Mafter, and his fignal is repeated by 
the Senior Warden. All are ftill andfilent. The Pre- 
fed lifts off the cloth. 

Ath^ The Prefe6l afks, whether the Knights are in the 
difpofition 10 partake of the Love-Feaft in earneft, peace, 
and contentment. If nonehefitates, or offers to retire, 
he takes the plate with the bread and fays, 

«« J. of N. our Grand-Mafter, in the night in which 
he was betrayed by his friends, perfecuted for his love 
for truth, imprifoned, and condemned to die, affem- 
bled his trufty Brethren, to celebrate his laft Love-Feaft 
• — which is fignified to us in many ways. He took bread 
(taking it) and broke it (breaking it) and bleffed it, and 
gave it to his difciples, cfec. — This fliall be the mark of 
our Holy Union, &c. Let each of you examine his 
bean, whether love reigns in it, and whether he, in full 
imitation of our Grand-Mafter, is ready to lay down 
his life for his Brethren. 

" Thanks be to our Grand-Mafter, who has appoint- 
ed this feaft as a memorial of his kindnefs, for the unit- 
ing of the hearts of thofe who love him. — Go in peace, 
and blefled be this new Affociation which we have form- 
ed. — Blefted be ye who remain loyal and ftrive for the 
good caufe." 

5^, The Prefe6l immediately clofes the Chapter with 
the ufual ceremonies of the Lc^s dc Table. 

6th, It is to be obferved, that no prieft of the Order 
muft be prefent at this Love-Feaft, and that even the 
Brother Servitor quits tha Lodge. 


I muft obferve here, that Philo, the inamjrfa8.tirer ot 
this ritual, has done it very injudicioufly ; it has no re-, 
femblance whatever to the Love-Feaft of the primitive 
Chriftians, and is merely a copy of a fimilar thing in one 
of the fleps of French Mafonry. Philo's reading ir>' 
chirrch-hiftory was probably very fcanty, or he trufted 
that the candidates would not be very nice in their exa- 
iflination of it, and he imagined that it would do wel^ 
enough, and " tickle fuch as had a religious hankering.'"' 
Spartacus diftiked it exceedingly — it did not accord' 
\vith his ferious conceptions, and he juilly calls it Joucr 
la Religion, 

The difcourfe of reception is to be found alfo in the 
fecret correfpondence [Nachtrag II. Ahthcilung^ p. 44). 
But it is needleis to infert it here. I have given the fub- 
ftance of this and of all the Cofmo-political declamati- 
ons already in the panegyric introduftion to the account 
of the procefs of education. And in Spartacus's letter, 
and in Philo's I have dven an abftraft of the introduc- 
tion to the explanation given in this degree of the fym- 
bols of Free Mafonry. With refpeft to the explanation 
i^tftlf, it flovenly and wretched as can be imagined, 
and fliows that Spartacus trufted tq much more operar 
tivc principles in the human heart for the reception of 
his nonfenfe than the diftates of unbiaffed reafon. None 
but promifmg fubjeds were admitted thus far — fuch as 
•would not boggle ; and their principles were already 
fufficiently apparent to alTure him that they would be 
contented with any thing that made game of religion, and 
v;ould be diverted by the ferioufne-fs which a chance de.- 
votee might exhibit during thefe hlly caricatures of 
Chriftianity and Free Mafonry. But. there is cpnfidera- 
ble add'refs in the way that Spartacus prepares his pupils 


for leaving all this mummery fliown in its true colours, 
and overturned. 

" Examine, tead, think on thefe fymbols. There 
«re many things which one cannot find out without a 
guide nor even learn without inftruQion. They require 
ftudy and zeaL Should you in any future period think 
that you have conceived a clearer notion of them, that 
you have found a paved road, declare your difcoveries 
to your Superiors ; it is thus that you improve your 
mind ; they expeft this of you ; they know the true path 
* — but will not point it out — enough if they affift you in 
every approach to it, and warn you when you recede 
from it. They have even put things in your way to try 
your powers of leading yourfelf through the difficult 
irack of difcovery. In this procefs the weak head finds 
only child's play — the initiated finds objefts of thought 
which language cannot exprefs, and the thinking mind 
finds food for his faculties," By fuch forewarnings as 
ihefe Weifhaupt leaves room for any deviation, for any 
fentiment or opinion of the individual that he may after- 
wards choofe to encourage, and " to whifper in their ear 
(as he exprefles it) many things which he did not find it 
prudent to infert in a printed compend." 

But all the principles and aim of Spartacus and of his 
Order are moft diftindly feen in the third or Myftery 
Clafs. I proceed therefore to give fome account of iu 
By the Table it appears to have two degrees, the Leffcr 
and the Greater Myftcries, each of which have two de- 
partments, one relating chiefly to Religion and the other 
to Politics. 

The Prieft's degree contains, 1. An ImroduQion. 2. 
Further Accounts of the. Reception- int.o this degree. 3. 



What is called Inllruftion iii the Third Chamber, which 
the candidate mull read over. 4. The Ritual of Re;- 
ception. 5. Initruttioii for the Firft Degree of the 
Prieft's Clafs, called Injiruciio in Sctcntificis. 6. Ac- 
count of the Coiifecration of a Dean, the Superior of 
this Lower Ortler of Prieib. 

The Regent degree contains, 1. Direftions to the 
iProvincial concerning the difpenfation of this degree. 
2. Ritual of Reception. 3. Syftem of DireQion for 
the whole Order. 4. Inftruclion for the whole Regent 
degree. 5. InftrufUon for the Prefects or Local Supe- 
liors. 6. Inftruttion for the Provincials. 

:, The .moft remarkable thing in the Prieft's degree is 
the Inftrutlion in the Third Chamber. It is to be found 
in the private correfpondence. ( Nachtrage Original 
Schriften 1787, 2d Abtheiiimg^ page 44.) There it 
has the title Difcourfe to the Illuminati Dirigenks, or 
Scotch Knights. In the critical hiftory, which is an- 
nexed to the 'Neucjie Arhcitung^xhQit is an acxount given 
of the reafon for this denomination ; and notice is taken 
of fome differences between the inIlru6lions here con> 
tained and that difcourfe. 

' This inftru6lion begins with fore complaints of the^ 
IxDW condition of the'human race ; and the caufes are de- 
duced from religion and ftate-government. " Men ori- 
ginally led a patriarchal life, in which every father of a 
family was the fole lord of his houfe and his property, 
while he himfelf poflcflt^d general freedom and equlity. 
But they fuffered thcmielves to be oppreffed — gave 
ihemfclves up to civil iocieties, and formed ilates. Even 
by this they fell ; and this is the fall of man, by which 
f>tev were thfuft into upfpcakhblc niifcry. To gel out 


«r this ftate, to be freed and born again, tbcre is no. 
mother mean than the ufe of pure Reafon, by which a 
general nnorality may be eftablifhed, which will put mart 
in a condition to jrovern himfelf, regain his oriotinal' 
worth, and difpenfe with all political fupports, and par- 
ticularly with rulers. This can be done in no other way 
but by fccret aflbciations, which will by degrees, and 
in filence, poflefs themfelyes of the government of the 
States, and make ufe of thofe means for this purpofe 
which the wicked ufe for attainingriheir bafe ends. Prin- 
ces and Priefts are in particular, and kat" exochsn, the 
wicked, whofe hands we mufl tie up by means of thefe 
afibciations, if we cannot root them out altogether. 

" Kings are parents. The 'paternal power ceafes with 
the incapacity of the child ; and the father injures his 
child, if he pretends to retain his right beyond this pc'- 
riod. When a nation comes of age, their ftate of ward- 
foip is -at an end." 

Here follows a long declamation agalnfl patriotifm, 
as a narrow-minded principle when comparetl with true 
Cofmo-politifm. Nobles are reprefented as *•' a race df 
men that ferve not the nation but the Prince, whom a 
hint from the Sovereign (lirs up againft the nation, who 
are retained fervants and minifters of defpotifm, and the 
mean for oppreffing national liberty. Kings are accufed 
x)f a tacit convention, under the flattering appellation of 
the balance of power, to keep nations in fubjection. 

" The mean to regain P.eafon her rights — to raife li- 
berty from its afl>es— to rellore to man his original nghis 
' — to produce the previous revolution in the miad-^f 
man — to obtain an eternal vi6lory over opprcfibrs — ami 
to work the redemption of mankind, is fecret ichools of 


•\v'ifdom. When the worthy have ftrengthened their af- 
fociation by numbers, they are fecure, and then they 
begin to become powerful, and terrible to the wicked, 
of whom many will, for fafety, amend themfelves — 
many will come over to our party, and we fhall bind 
the hands of the reft, and finally conquer them. Who- 
ever fpreads general illumination augments mutual fecu- 
rity ; illumination and fecurity make princes unneffary ; 
illumination performs this by creating an effeftive Mo- 
yality, and Morality makes a nation of full age fit to go- 
vern itfelf ; and fince it is not impoflible to produce a 
juft Morality, it is poflible to regain freedom for the 

" We mud therefore ftrengthen our band, and eRa- 
blifh a legion, which fhall reftore the rights of man, 
original liberty and independence.. 

« Jefus Chrift"— but I am fick of all this. The foK 
lowing queftions are put to the candidate ; 

1. " Are our civil conditions in the world the dtd't- 
nations that feem to be the end of our nature, or the 
purpofes for which man was placed on this earth, -or are 
they not ? Do ftates, civil obligations, popular religion, 
fulfil the intentions of men who eftabliflicd them ? Do 
fecret aflTociations promote inftruftion and true human 
happinefs, or are they the children of neceflity, of tlic 
multifarious wants, of unnatural conditions, or the in- 
ventions of vain and cunning men ? ' 

2. " What civil afTociation, what fcience do you 
think to the purpofc, and what arc not ?" 


3. '• Has there ever been any other in the world, is 
there no other more fimple condition, and what do yoa 
think of it ?" 

4. " Does it appear poflible, after having gone through 
all the nonentities of our civil conrtitutions, to recover 
for once our firft fimplicity, and get back to this honor- 
able uniformity ?" 

5. " How can one begin this noble attempt ; by means 
©f open lupport, by forcible revolution, or by what 
other way ?" 

6. " Does Chriftianity give us any hint to this pur- 
pofe ? does it not recognife fuch a bleiTed condition as 
once the lot of man, and asftill recoverable ?" 

7. '* But is this holy religion the religion that is now 
profefTed by any fed on earth, or is it a better ?" 

8. " Can we learn this religion — can the world, as it 
is, bear the light ? Do you think that it would be of 
Tervice, before numerous obftacles are removed, if we 
taught men this purified religion, fublime philofophy, 
and the ^rt of governing themfelvcs ? Or would not 
this hurt, by roufing the interefted paffions of men ha- 
bituated to prejudices, who would oppoie this as wick- 
fcd ?" 

g. " May it not be more advifable to do away thefc 
corruptions bit by bit, in filence, and for this purpofe 
to propagate thefe falulary and heart-confoling do^rines 
ip fecret ?" 

10. " Do we not perceive traces of fuch a fecret doc- 
trine in the ancient fchools of philofpphy, in the doc 


trines and inftruftions of the Bible, which Chrift, the 
Redeemer and Liberator of the human race, gave to his 
trufty difciples ? Do yoii not obferve an edu cation, ~pro-. 
ceeding by fteps of this kind, handed down to us from 
liis time till the prefent ?" 

In the ceremonial of Reception, crowns and fceptres 
sre reprefented as tokens of human degradation. '• The 
plan of operation, by which our higher degrees a6l, 
muft work powerfully on the world, and mult give ano- 
ther turn to all our prefent conftitutions." 

Many other queftions are put to the pupil during his 
preparation, and his anfvvers are given in writing. Some 
of thefe refcr.ipts are to be found in tlie lecret correfpon- 
dence. Thus, " How far is the pofitioh true, that all 
thofe means may be u fed for a good purpofe which 
the wieked have employed for a bad?" And along 
with this queftion there is an injunQiori to take counfel 
from the opinions and conduQ: of the learned and wor- 
thy out of the fociety. In one of the anfvvers, the ex- 
ample of a great philofopher and Cofmo-polite is ad- 
duced, who betrayed a private correfpondence entrufted 
io him, for the fervice of freedom ; the cafe was Dr. 
.Franklin's. In another, the power of the Order was 
.<3xtended to the putting the individual to death ; and the 
rcafon given, was, that '-this power was allowed to all 
Sovereignties, for the good of the State, and therefore 
belonged to the Order, which was to govern the world." 
^ " N. B. We mull acquire the direflion of educa- 
tion — of church-management — of the .profefforial chair, 
,Tnd of the pulpit. We muft .bring our opinions int^o 
fafliion by every art — Ipread them among the people by 
the help of young writers. We muft preach the warm- 
eil concern for humanity, and make people indifferent 


to an other relations. We mull take care that our wri- 
ters be well puffed, and (hat the Reviewers do not de- 
preciate them ; therefore we mud endeavour by every 
mean to gain over the Reviewers and Journalills ; and 
we muft alfo try to g^in the booklellers, who in tim« 
will fee that it is their intereft to fide with us." 

I conclude this account of the degree of Prefbyter 
with remarking, that there were two copies of it employ- 
ed occafionally. In one of them all the moft offenfivs 
things in refpeQ of church and ftate were left out. 

• In the Regent degree, the proceedings and inftruc- 
tions are conducted in the fame manner. Here, it is 
iaid, " We mail as much as poffible fefed for this de- 
gree perfons who are free, independent of all princes ; 
particularly fuch as have frequently declared themfelves 
difcontented with the ufu^linftitutions, and cheir wifties 
to fee a better government eftabliflied." 

Catching queftions are put to the candidate far this 
degree ; fuch as, 

• 1. " Would the Society be objeBionable which 
fliould (till the greater revolution of nature fhould be 
ripe) put monarchs and rulers out of the condition to do 
harm ; which in filence prevents the abufe of power, by 
furrounding the great with its members, and thus not 
only prevents their doing mifchief, but even makes 
them do good ?" 

2. " Is not the objeftion unjuft, That fuch a Society 
may abufe its power. Do not our rulers frequently 
abufe their power, though we are filent ? This power i* 
nat io.iecure as in the hands of our Members, whooi 


v/e train up \vith fo much care, and place about prince^ 
after mature deliberation and choice. If" any govern- 
ment can be harmlefs which is eredcd by man, liirely it 
mult be ours, which is founded on morality, fore-fight, 
talents, liberty, and virtue," <&:c. 

The candidate is prefented for reception in the cha- 
Tafter of a flave; and it is demanded of him what has 
brought him into thismoft miferablc of all conditions^. 
He anfwers — Society — the State — SubmifTivenefs — • 
Falfe Religion. A fl<^eleton is pointed out to him, at 
the feet of which are laid a Crown and a Sword. He 
is afked, whether that is the fkeleton of a King, a No- 
bleman, or a Beggar ? As he cannot decide, the Pre« 
fident of the meeting fays to him, " the charader of be- 
ing a Man is the only one that is of importance." 

In a long declamation on the hackneyed topics, we 
have here and there fome thoughts which have not yet 
come before us. 

" We muft allow the underlings to imagine (but with* 
out telling them the truth) that we direft all the Free 
Mafon Lodges, and eveii all other Orders, and that the 
greateft monarchs are under our guidance, which indeed 
is here and there the cafe. 

*' There is no way of influencing men fo powerfully 
as by means of the women. Thefe fhould therefore be 
our chief fludy ; we fhould infinuate ourfelves into their 
good opinion, give them hints of emancipation from 
the tyranny of public opinion, and of flanding up for 
ihemfelves ; it will be an immenfe relief to their enllav- 
ed minds to be freed from any one bond of refctaint, 
and it will fire them the mgre, and caufe them to work 


'for us with zeal, without knowing that they do fq- for 
ihey will only be indulging their own defire of perfonal 

" We mull win the common people in every corner. 
This will be obtained chiefly by means of the fchools, 
and by open, hearty behaviour, fliow, condefcenfion, 
popularity, and toleration of their jprejudices, which we 
ihall at leifure root out and difpel. . ' 

" If a writer publifhes any thing that attrafts notice, 
and is in itfelf juft, but does not accord with our plan, 
we muft endeavour to win him over, or decry hira. 

" A chief objeQof our care muft be to keep down 
that flavifh veneratiqn for princes which fo much difgra- 
ces all nations. Even in the joi-difant free England, 
the filly Monarch fays. We are gracioufly pleafed, and 
the more fimple people fay, Amen. Thefe men, com- 
monly very weak heads, are only the farther corrupted 
by this fervile flattery. But let us at once give an ex- 
ample of our fpirit by our behaviour with Princes > we 
muft avoid all familiarity — never entruft ourfelves to 
them — behave with precifion, but with civility, as to 
other men — fpeak of them on an equal footing — this 
will in time teach them that they are by nature men, if 
they have fenfe and fpirit, and that only by convention 
they are Lords. We muft afliduoufly collect; anecdotes, 
and the honorable and mean a6lions, both of the leaft 
and the greateft, and when their names occur in any 
records which are read in our meetings, let them ever 
be accompanied by thefe marks of their real worth. 

" The great ftrength of our Order lies in its conceal- 
ment ; let it never appear in any place in its own name, 

V • 


but always covered by another name, and another oc- 
cupation. None is Jitter than the three lower degrees of 
Free Mafonry ; the public is accii/iomed to it, expeds lit- 
tle from it, and therefore takes little notice of it. Next 
to this, the form of a learned or literary fociety is beft 
fuited to our purpofe, and had Free Mafonry not exift- 
ed, this cover would have been employed ; and it may 
be much more than a cover, it may he a powerful engine 
in our hands. By efablifJiing reading focieties, and fub- 
fcription libraries, and taking theft under our direflion^ 
and fupplying them through our labours, we may turn the 
public mind which way ive will. 

In like manner we muft try to obtain an influence in 
the military academies (this may be of mighty confe- 
quence) the printing-houfes, bookfellers fhops, chapters, 
and in fliort in all offices which have any eflPe6t, either 
in forming, or in managing, or even in direfting the 
mind of man : painting and engraving are highly worth 
our care."* 

" Could our Prefeft (obferve it is to the Illuminati 
Regentes he is fpeaiking, whofe officers are PrefeMi) fill 
the judicatories of a ftate with our w^orthy members, he 
does all that man can do for the Order. It is better than 
to gain the Prince himfelf. Princes ffiould never get be- 
yond the Scotch knigthood. They cither never profe- 
cute any thing, or they twill every thing to their own 

* (They were flrongly fufpefted of having publirSed fome fcan* 
dalous caricatures, and fome very immoral prints.) They fctupled 
at no mean, hovi^ever bafe, for corrupting the nation. Mirabeau 
had done the fame thing at Berlin. By political caricatures and 
filthy prints, they corrupt even luch as canaot read. 



" A Literary Society is the moft proper form for the 
introduftion of our Order into any ilate where we arc 
yet ftrangers." (Mark this !) 

" The power of the Order muft furely be turned to 
the advantage of its Members. All muft be afliiled. 
They muft be preferred to all perfons otherwife of equ^l 
merit. Money, fervices, honor, goods, and blood, muft 
Be expended for the fully proved Brethren, and the un- 
fortunate muft be reheved by the funds of the Society." 

As evidence that this was not only their inftruftions, 
but alfo their alhduous praftice, take the following report 
from the overfeer of Greece (Bavaria.) 

In Cato's hand-wriiing. 

" The number (about 600) of Members relates so 
Eavaria alone. 

" In Munich there is a welf-conftituted meeting of //- 
luminati Ma]ores,a. meeting of excellent Illuminati Mi- 
nores, a refpetlable Grand Lodge, and t\i!KD Minerval 
Affemblies. There is a Minerval Aftembly at Freyf- 
fmg, at Landlberg, at Burghaufen, at Stralburg, at 
Ingolftadt, and at laft at Regenfburg.'^ 

" At Munich we have bought a houfe, and by clever 
meafu-res have brought things fo far, that the citizens 
take no notice of it, and even fpeak of us with efteem. 
We can openly go to the houfe every day, and carpy 
on the buhnefs of the Lodge. This is a CTjcat deal for 

o o 

* In. this fmall turbulent city there were eleven fecret focietles of 
Malons, Rofycrucians, Clafr-voyants," &c. 


this city. In the houfe is a good mufeum of natural 
hiftory, and apparatus for experiments ; alfo a library 
which daily increafes. The garden is well occupied by 
botanic fpecimens, and the whole has the appearance of 
a fociety of zealous naturalifts. 

" We get all the literary journals. We take care, 
by well-timed pieces, to make the citizens and the Prin- 
ces a little more noticed'for certain little flips. We op- 
pofe the monks with all our might, and with great fuc- 

" The Lodge is conftituted entirely according to our 
fyftem, and has broken off entirely from Berlin, and we 
have nearly finilhed our tranfaciions with the Lodges of 
Poland, and fhail have them under our direction. 

" By the adivity of our Brethren, the Jefuits have 
been kept out of all the profelTorial chairs at Ingoliladt, 
and our friends prevail." 

" The Widow Duchefs has fet up her academy en- 
. tirely according to our plan, and we have all the Pro- 
feflbrs in the Order. Five of them are excellent, and 
the pupils will be prepared for us. 

" We have got Pylades put at the head of the Fife, 
and he has the church-money at his difpofal. By pro- 
perly ufing this money, we have been enabled to put 

our Brother 's houfehold in good order ; which he 

had deftroyed by*goingto the Jews. We have fup- 
ported more Brethren under fimilar misfortunes. 

*' Our Ghoftly Brethren have been very fortunate 
this laft year, for we have procured for them feverai 
good benefices, paiiHieSj Lutoilhipsj Sec. 


*' Through our means Arminius and Cortez have 
gotten ProfefTorfhips, and many of our younger BreiK- 
ren have obtained Burfaries by our help. 

" We have been very fuccefsful againft the Jefuits, 
and brought things to fuch a bearing, that their reve- 
nues, fuch as the Miffion, the Golden Alms, the Ex- 
ercifes, and the Converfion Box, are now under the 
management of our friends. So are alfo their concerns 
in the univerfity and the German fchooi foundations. 
The application of all will be determined prefently, and 
we have fix members and four friends in the Court. 
This has coft our fenate fome nights want of flecp. 

" Two of our bed youths have got journies from the 
Court, and they will go to Vienna, where they will do 
us great fervice. 

" All the German Schools, and the Benevolent Soci- 
ety, are at laft under our direction. 

'' We have got feveral zealous members in the courts 
of juftice, and we are able to afford them pay, and 
other good additions. 

" Lately, we have got poffeflion of the Bartholomew 
Inftitution for young clergymen, having fecured all its 
fupporters. Through this we fliall be able to fupply 
Bavaria with fit priefts. 

" By a letter from Philo we learn, that one of the 
higheft dignities in the church was obtained for a zea- 
lous Illuminatus, in oppofition even to the authority 
and right of the Bifnop of Spire, who is repjeiented as 
a bigoited and tyrannical prieit." 


Such were the lefler myfteries of the Illuminati. But 
there remain the higher myfteries. The fyftem of thefe 
has not been printed, and the degrees were conferred 
only by Spartacus himfelf, from papers which he never 
entrufted to any perfon. They were only read to the 
"candidate, but no copy was taken. The pubhflier of 
the Neuejle Ar beitung {^d^ys that he has read them (fo fays 
Grollman.) He fays, " that in the flrft degree of Ma- 
gus or Philosophus, the doftrines are the fame with 
thofe of Spinoza, where all is material, God and the 
world are the fame thing, and all religion whatever is 
without foundation, and the contrivance of ambitious 
men." The fecond degree, or Rex, teaches, " tl>at 
every peafant, citizen, and houfeholder is a fovereign, 
as in the Patriarchal ftate, and that nations muft be 
brought back to that ftate, by whatever means are con- 
ducible — peaceably, if it can be done ; but, if not, then 
by force — for all fubordination muft vanifti from the 
face of the earth." 

The author fays further, that the German Union was, 
to his certam knowledge, the work of the Illuminati. 

The private correfpondence that has been publifhed 
is by no means the whole of what was difcovered at 
Landfliut and BafTus Hoft', and government got a great 
deal of ufeful information, which was concealed, both 
out of regard to the families of the perfons concerned, 
and alio that the reft might not know the utmoft extent 
of the difcovery, and be lefs on then' guard. A third 
colle£lion was found under the foundation of the houfe 
in which the Lodge Theodor von guten Rath had been 
held. But none of this has appeared. Enough furely 
has been difcovered to give the public a very juft idea 
of the defigns of the Society and its conneBions. 



Lodges were difcovered, and are mentioned in the 
private papers already publiflied, in the following places. 












Upper Saxony (feveral) 

Auftria (14) 

Wellphalia (feveral) 



Strafburgh (5) 




Cologne , 

Bonn (4) 

Livonia (many) 

Courland (many) 


Alface (many) 

\''ienna (4) 

America (feveral). N. B 

HcfTe (many) 



Stutgard (3) 



Neuwied (2) 

Mcntz (2) 

Poland (jnany) 


England (8) 

Scotland (2) 

Warfaw (2) 



Tre\'^s (2) 

Aix-la-Chappellc (2) 



Switzerland (many) 






Halland (many) 

Drefden (4) 

This was before 178G. 

I have picked up the names of the following members, 
Spartacus Weifhaupt, Profelfor. 









Zoroafter, Confucius, 
Hermes Trifmegiftus, 

Knigge, Freyherr, i. c. 

Bode, F. H. 
Bufche, F. H. 
Conftanza, Marq. 
Zwack, Lawyer. 
Torring, Count. 
Kreitmaier, Prince. 
Utfchneider, ProfefTor. 
Coflandey, ProfefTor. 
Renner, ProfefTor. 
Grunberger, ProfefTor, 
Balderbufch, F. H. 
Lippert, Counfellor. 
Kundl, ditto. 
Bart, ditto. 
Leiberhauer, Priefl. 
Kundler, ProfefTor. 
Lowling, Profeffor. 
Vachency, Councellor, 
Morauflcy, Count. 
Hoffftetter, Surveyor of 

Strobl, Book Teller. 
Weflenrieder, ProfefTor^i 
Babo, ProfefTor. 
Baader, ProfefTor. 
Burzes, Priefl. 
Pfruntz, Priefl. 
BafTus, Baron. 
Savioli, Count. 
Nicholai, BookTeiler. 
Bahrdt, Clergyman. 
Socher, School InTpeRor. 



Dillis, Abb6. 


MeggenhofF, Paymafter, 

Danzer, Canon. 

Braun, ditto. 

Fifcher, Magiftrate. 

Frauenberger, Baron. 

Kaltner, Lieutenant, 


Drexl, Librarian, 


Hertel, Canon. 


Billing, Counfellor, 

Seefeld, Count. 

Gunflieim, ditto. 

Morgellan, ditto. 

Salad in, 

Ecker, ditto. 

Ow, Major. 

Werner, Counfellor. 

Cornelius Scipio, 

Berger, ditto. 

Wortz, Apothecary. 

Mauvillon, Colonel. 

Mirabeau, Count. 

Orleans, Duke. 


Tycho Brahe, 

Gafpar, Merchant, 





Ludovicus Bavarusj 





Tropppnero, Zufchwartz, 









Ajax J 

MaCfeahaufenj Count» 



I have not been able to find who perfonated Minos, 
Euriphon, Celfius, Mabamet, Hercules, Socrates, Phj- 
lippo Strozzi, Euclides, and fome others who have 
been uncommonly aQive in carrying forward the great 

The chief publications for giving us regular accounts 
of the whole (befides the original writings) are^ ^ 

1. Grojfe Abficht des Illuminaten Or dens. 

2. Nachirages f'^.J an denjelben, 

3. Wcijliaupt's iviproved' Syjlcin, 

4. Syjlem des Ilium. Ordens am dem Original-Schrif-' 

ten gczogcn. 

I may now be permitted to make a few refle61ions 
on the. accounts already given of this Order, which has 
fo diiiinflly concentrated the cafual and fcattered ef- 
forts of its prompters, th& Chevaliers Bienfaifants, the 
Philalethes^ and A'uiis Reunis of France, and carried 
on the fyftem of enlightening and reforming the world. 

The great aim profeffed bv the Order is to make 7nen 
happy : and the means prafelfed to be employed, as ih^ 
only and furely effe6live, is making them good ; and 
tliis is to be brought about by enlightening the mind, and 
freeing it from the dominion of fuperJ}.ition and prejudi- 
ces. This purpofe is effected by its producing a jiijl 
and Jleady morality. This done, and becoming uni- 
verfal, there can be little doubt but that the peace of 
fociety will be the confequence — that government, fub- 
ordination, and all- the difagr^eable coercions of civil 
governments will be unncceffary — and that fociety may 
go on peaceably in a ftate of perfecl liberty and equality. 


■' IjiU furcly it requires no angel from heaven to tell us 
that if every man is virtuous, there will be no vice ; and. 
that there will be peace on earth, and good will be- 
tween man and man, whatever be the differences of 
rank and fortune ; fo that Liberty and Equality fcem 
noi to be the neccffary confcqucnces oF this juil Mora-' 
lity, nor necelTary requifrtes for this national happinefs. 
We may queftion,' therefore, whether the Illumination' 
Vk'hich makes this a neceffary condition is a clear and a' 
pure lighi. It may be a falfe glare, fhowing the object 
only on onp fide, tinged v.'ith partial colours thrown 
on it by neiglibouring objet'ts. We fee fo much wif- 
dom in the general plans of nature, that we are apt to' 
think that there is the fame in what relates to the human 
mind, and that the God of nature accompliii'ies his' 
plans in this as well as in other inilances. We are even" 
<lifpofed to think that human nature would fuffer by it. 
The rational nature of man is not contented with meat 
and drink, and raiment, and flielter, but is alfo pleafed 
^vith exerting many powers and faculties, and with gra- 
tifying many taftes, which could hardly have any exif- 
tence in a iociety wher-e all are equal. We fay that 
there can be no doubt but that the pleafure arifmg from 
the contemplation of the works of art — the pleafure of 
intellectual cultivation, the pleafure of mere ornament, 
are rational, didinguilh man from a brute, and are fo 
general, that there is hardly a mind fo rude as not to 
feel them. Of all thefe, and of all the diihcult fcicnces, 
all mod rational, and in themfelves mod innocent, and 
moil delightful to a cultivated mind, we fhould be de- 
prived in a fociety where all are equal. No individual 
-could give employm^ent to the talents necelfary for cre- 
ating and improving thefe ornamental comforts of life. 
We are abfolutely certain that, even in the moli favo;- 
able fiiuations on the face of the earth, the moll un- 


tainted virtue in every bread could not raiie man to that 
degree of cultivation that is pofleffed by citizens very 
low in any of the ftates of Europe ; and in the fituation 
of moft countries we are acquainted with, the ftate of 
man would be much lower : for, at our very letting 
out, we mult grant that the liberty and equality here 
fpoken of muft be complete ; for there muft not be fuch 
a thing as a farmer and his cottager. This would be^ 
as unjuft, as much the caufe of difcontent, as the gen- 
tleman and the farmer. 

This fcheme therefore feems contrary to the defigns. 
of our Creator, who has every where placed us in thefc 
fituations of inequality that are hejre fo much fcouted, 
and has given us Itrong propenfities by which we relifh 
thefe enjoyments. We alfo find that they may be en- 
joyed in peace and innocence. And lailly. We ima- 
gine that the villain, who, in the ftation of a profeflbr, 
■would plunder a Prince, would alfo plunder the farmer 
if he were his cottager. The illumination therefore that 
appears to have the beft chance of making mankind 
iiappy, is that which will teach us the Morality which 
"will refpe£l the comforts of cultivated Society, and teach 
us to prote6t the poffelTors in the innocent enjoyment of 
them ; that will enable us to perceive and admire the 
tafte and elegance of Architecture and Gardening, with- 
out any wifh to fweep the gardens and their owner from 
off the earth, merely becaufe he is their owner. 

We are therefore fufpicious of this Illumination, and 
apt to afcribe this violent antipathy to Princes and lu- 
bordination to the very caufe that makes true Ilhnnina- 
tion, and jufl Morality proceeding from it, fo neceflary 
to public happinefs, namely, the vice and injuOice of 
thofcwho cannot innocently have the command of thofe 

THE ILLUMINATE. 165. elegancies of human life. Luxurious tafie, 
keen delires, and unbridled pafEons^ would prompt to, 
all this ; and this Illumination is, as we fee, equivalent 
to them in effeO;. The aim of the Order is not to en-, 
lighten the mind of man, and fhow him his moral obli- 
gations, and by the praQice of his duties, to make foci- 
ety peaceable, poffeffion fccure, and coercion unnecef- 
fary, fo that all may be at rett and happy, even though- 
all were equal ; but to get rid of the coercion which mud 
be employed in place of Morality, that the innocent 
rich may be robbed widi impunity by the idle and pro- 
fligate poor. But to do this, an unjuft cafuiftry muft 
be employed in place of a juft Morality ; and this muft 
be defended or fuggefted, by raifreprerenting the true 
■ ftate of man, and of his relation to the univerfe, and by 
removing the reftriBions of religion, and giving a fuper- 
latiVe value to all thofe conftituents of hunsan enjoy- 
ment, which true Illumination fiiows us to be but very 
fmall concerns of a rational and virtuous mind. The 
more clofely we examine the principles and pra6lice of 
the Illuminati, the more clearly do we perceive that 
this is the cafe. Their hrft and immediate aim is to get 
the poffeflion of riches, power, and inQnence, Mnthou|: 
induftry ; and, to accomplifli this, they want to abo- 
lifh Chriflianity ; a-nd then diilolute manners- and, uni- 
verfal profligacy will procure them the adherence of all 
the-wicked, and enable them to overturn all the civil 
governments of Europe ; after which they will tiunkof 
farther conquefts, and extend their operatiou-i to the 
other quarters of the globe, till they have reduced man- 
kind to the ftate of one undiftinguiiliable chaotic niafs. 

But this is too chimerical to be thought their real 
aim. Their Founder, I dare fay, never entertained 
fuch hopes, nor troubled hinalelf with the fate of diftant 


lands. But it comes in his way when he puts on the mafk 
of humanity and benevolence : it muft embrace all man- 
kiiid, only becaufe it muft be ftronger than patriotifm 
and loyalty, which ftand in his way. Obferve that Weif- 
haupt took a name exprefiive of his principles. Sparta- 
cus was a gladiator, who headed an infurreftion of Ro- 
man flaves, and for three years kept the city -ii^H:error.' 
Weifhaupt fays in one of his letters, " I never was fond 
of empty titles ; but furely that man has a childifh foul 
who would not as readily chufc the name of Spartacus 
as that of Oftavius Auguftus." The names which he' 
gives to feveral of his gang exprefs their differences of 
f^ntiments. Philo, Lucian, and others, are very figni- 
ficantly given to Knigge, Nicholai, See. He was vain 
of the name Spartacus, becaufe he confidered bimfelf 
as employed fomewhat in the fame way, leading flaves 
to freedom. Princes and Priefts are mentioned by him 
on all occafions in terms of abhorrence. 

Spartacus employs powerful means. In the ftyle of 
the Jefuits (as he fays) he confidcrs every mean as con- 
fecrated by the end for which it is employed, and he 
fays with great truth, 

" Fleclcrcji 7iequcofuperos, Acheronia movcbo/'' 

To fave his reputation, he fcrnples not to murder his 
innocent child, and the woman whom he had held in his 
arms with emotions of fondnefs and affeclion. But left 
this fliould appear too felfifii a motive, he fays, "had 
I fallen, my precious Order would have fallen with me*; 
the Order which is to blefs mankind. I fnould not 
ajiain have been able to fpeak 'of virtue fo as to make 
any lafting impreihon. My example might have ruined 
many young men." This he thinks v/iil cxcufcj nay 


fanctifj any thing. " My letters are my grcateft vind?- 
cation." He employs the Chriftian Religion, which he 
thinks a fairehood,and which he isafterwards to explode, 
as the mean for inviting Chriftians of every denominati- 
on, and gradually cajoling them, by clearing up their 
Chriftian doubts in fucceffion, till he lands them in De- 
•ifm ; or, if he finds them unfit, and too religious, he 
gives them a Sta bene^ and then laughs at the fears, or 
perhaps madnefs, in >vhich he leaves them. Having got 
.them this length, they are declared to be fit, and he re- 
ceives them into the higher mylleries. But left they 
fhould ftill fhrink back, dazzled by the Pandemoniaii 
glare of Illumination which will now burft upon them, 
he exafts from them, for the firft time, a bond of perfe- 
verance. But, as Philo fays, there is little chance of 
tergiverfation. The life and honor of moft of the can- 
.didates are by this time in his hand. They have been 
long occupied in tl:ie vile and corrupting office of fpies 
on all around them, and they are found fit for their pre- 
fent honors, becaufe they have difcharged this office to 
his fatisfaftion, by the reports which they have given in, 
containing ftories of their neighbours, nay even of their 
jOwn gang. They may be ruined in the world by dif- 
clofing thefe, either privately or publicly. A man who 
.had once brought hirafelf into this perilous fitilation durft 
not go back. He might have been left indeed in any 
degree of Illumination : and, if Religion has not been 
quite eradicated from his mind, he muft be in that con- 
dition of painful anxiety and doubt that makes hira dcf- 
.pcrate, fit for the full operation of fanaiicifm, and he 
rnay be engaged in the caujc of God, ." to comniit ail 
kind of wickednefs with greedinefs." In this Itate of 
mind, a rnan fiiuts his eyes, and ruflies on. Had 
.Spartacus fuppofed that he was dealing with good men, 
his conduct would have been the leveife of all this,. 


There is no occafion for this bond from a perfon con- 
vhicedofthe excellency of the Order. ButhekncW 
thera to be unprincipled, and that the higher myfleries 
were fo daring, that even fome of fuch men would ftart 
at them. But they mult not blab. 

Having thus got rid of Religion, Spartacus could 
■\vith more fafety bring into view the great aim of all his 
efforts — to rule the world by means of his Order. As 
the immediate mean for attaining this, he holds out thb 
pro fpeft of freedom from civil fubordination. Perfeft 
Liberty and Equality are interwoven with every thing ; 
•and the flattering thought is continually kept up, that 
*' by the wife contrivance of this Order, the moft com- 
plete knowledge is obtained of the real worth of every 
perfon; the Order will, for its own fake, and therefore 
cirtainly, place every man in that fituation in which he 
can be moft effeftive. The pupils are convinced that 
the Order will rule the world. Every member there- 
fore becomes a ruler." We all think ourfelves qualified 
to rule. The difficult taflv is to obey with propriety ; 
but we are honeftly generous in our profpeBs of future 
command. It is therefore an alluring thought, both to 
good and bad men. By this lure the Order will fpread. 
If they are a8ive in inlinuating their members into of- 
fices, and in keeping out others (which the private cof- 
refponder.ce fhows to have been the cafe) they may have 
had frequent experience of their fuccefs in gaining ah 
miluence on the world. This mufl whet their zeal. If 
^Vei{haupt was a fincere Cofmo-polite,he had the plea- 
f uie of feeing " his wor4s. profpering in his hands." 

It furely needs little argument now to prove, that 
the Order of -Ilkiminati had for its immediate objeftthe 
abolifliing of Chriilianity (at Icaft this was the intention 


of the Founder) with the fole view of overturning the 
civil government, by introducing univerfal diflblutenefs 
and profligacy of manners, and then getting the aflift- 
ance of the corrupted fubjefts to overfet the throne. 
The whole condutl in the preparation and inftruftion of 
the Preftyter and Regens is directed to this point. Phi- 
lo fays, " I have been at unwearied pains to remove the 
fears of fome who imagine that our Superiors want to 
abolifh Chriftianity ; but by and by their prejudices will 
-wear off, and they will be more at their eafe. Were I 
to let them know that our General holds all Religion to 
■be a lie, and ufes even Deifm, only to lead men by the 
nofe. — Were I to conned myfelf again with the Free 
Mafons, and tell them our defigns to ruin their Frater- 
nity by this circular letter (a letterto the Lodge in Cour- 
land) — Were I but to give the leaft hint to any. of thfc 
Princes of Greece (Bavaria) — No, my anger fliall not 
carry me fo far. — An Order forfooth, which in this 
manner abufes human nature — which will fubje6l men 
to a bondage more intolerable than Jefuitifm. — I could 
put it on a refpeftable footing, and the world would be 
ours. Should I mention our fundamental principles 
(even after all the pains I have been at to mitigate them) 
fo unqueftionably dangerous to the world, who would 
remain ? What lignifies the innocent ceremonies of the 
Prieft's degree, as I have compofed it, in comparifon 
with your maxim, that we may ufe for a good end thofe 
means which the wicked employ for a bafe purpofe ?" 

Brutus writes, " Numenius now acquiefces in the 
mortality of thfe foul ; but, I fear we fhall lofe Ludo- 
vicus Bavarus. He told Spartacus, that he was mif- 
taken when he thought that he had fwallowed his ftupid 
Mafonry. No, he faw the trick, and did not admire 


the end that required it. I don't. know what to do ; a 
Sta bene would make him mad, and he will blow us 
all up. 

" The Order muft pofTefs the power of life and death 
in confequence of our Oath ; and with propriety, for 
the fame reafon, and by the fame right, that any go- 
vernment in the world polfefTes it : For the Order comes 
in their place, making them unneceffary. When things 
cannot be otherwife, and ruin would enfue if the AlTo- 
.ciation did not employ this mean, the Order muft, as 
well as public rulers, emplow it for the good of man- 
kind; therefore for its own prefervation. ( N. B. Ob- 
ferve here the cafuiftry.) Nor will the political confti- 
tutions fuffer by this, for there are always thoufands 
equally ready and able to fupply the place." 

We need not wonder that Diomedes told the Profef- 
fors, " that death, inevitable death, from which no po- 
tentate could proteft them, awaited every traitor of the 
Order ;" n.or that the French Convention propofed to 
take off the German Princes and Generals by fword or 
poifon, &:c. 

Spartacus might tickle the fancy of his Order with 
the notion of ruling the world ; but I imagine that his 
darling aim v»'as ruling the Order. The happinefs of 
mankind was, like Weifiiaupt's Chriftianity, a mere tool, 
a tool which the Regentes made a joke of. But Spar- 
tacus would rule the Regentes ; this he could not fo ea- 
lily accomphfh. His defpotifm was infupportable to 
nioft of them, and finally brought all to light. When 
he could not perfuade them by his own firmnefs, and in- 
deed by his fuperior wiidom and difmtereitedncfs in 
other refpefts. and his unwearied adivity, he employed 


jcfuitical tricks, caufing them to fall out with each other, 
fetting them as fpies on each other, and feparating any 
two that he faw attached to each other, by making the 
one a Mafter of the other ; and, in fhort, he left nothing 
undone that could fecure his uncontrouled command. 
This can fed Philo to quit the Order, and made Bajfm^ 
Von Torring^ Kreitmaier, and feveral other gentlemen, 
ceafe attending the meetings ; and it was their mutual 
diffentions which made them fpeak too freely in public, 
and call on themfelves fo much notice. At the time of 
the difcovery, the party of Weifhaupt confided chiefly 
of very mean people, devoted to him, and willing to ex- 
-ecute his orders, that by being his fervants, they might 
have the pleafure of commanding others. 

The ohjeBs, the undoubted obje6ls of this AfTociati- 
on, are furcly dangerous and deteftable ; viz. to over- 
turn the prefent conflitutions of the European States,- in 
order to introduce a chimera which the hiftory of man- 
kind fliows to be contrary to the nature of man. * 

Naiuram expcllasjurcd^ tamen ufquc recur ret. ' 

Suppofe it pofhble, and done in peace, it could not 
ftand, unlefs every principle of afctivity in the human 
mind be enthralled, all incitement to exertion and induf- 
try removed, and man brought into a condition incapa- 
ble of improvement ; and this at the expence of every 
thing that is valued by the beft of men — by mifcry and 
devaflution — by loofening all the bands of fociety. To 
talk of morality and virtue in conjun6lion with fuch 
Tchemes, is an infult to common fenfe ; diflolut-nefs of 
manners alone can brin? men to think of it. 



Is it not aftonifhing therefore, to hear people hi this 
country exprefs any regard for this inititution ? Is it 
not grieving to the heart to think that there are Lodges 
of Illunminated among us ? I think that nothing bids 
fairer for weaning our inconfiderate countrymen from 
having any connexion with them, than the faithful ac- 
count here given. I hope that there are few, very few 
of our countrymen, and none whom we call friend, who 
can think that an Order which pra6lifed fuch things can 
be any thing ejfe than a ruinous AfTociation, a gang of 
profligates. All their profeffions of the love of man- 
kind are vain ; nay, their Illumination rnufl: be a be- 
wildering blaze, and totally ineffe6lual for its purpofe, 
for it has fach influence on the leaders of the 
band ; yet it feems quite adequate to the efiPefts it has 
produced ; for fuch are the charaBers of thofe who for- 
get God. 

If we in the next place attend to their mode of edu- 
cation, and examine it by thofe rulers of common fenfe 
that we apply in other cafes of condu6t, we fliall find it 
equally unpromifing. The fyftem of Illuminatifm is 
one of the explanations of Free Mafonry ; and it has 
gained many partifans. Thefe explanations reft their 
credit and their preference on their own merits. There 
is fomething in thernfelves, or in one of them as diilin- 
guiflied from another, which procures it the preference 
for its own fake. Therefore, to " give this Order any 
dependence on Free Mafonry, is to degrade the Order. 
To introduce a Mafonic Ritual into a manly inilitution 
is to degrade it to a frivolous amufement for great chil- 
dren. Men really exerting thernfelves to reform the 
world, antj qualified for the tafl;, muft have been dif- 
gulted with fuch occupations. They betray a frivolous 
conception of the tafl<. in which they are really engaged. 


To iihagine that men engaged in the ftruggle and rival- 
fhip of life, under the iniluence of fehlfli, or mean, or 
impetuous paifions, are to be wheedled into candid fea- 
timents, or a generous conduft, as a fi-oward child may 
fometimes be made gentle and trafctable by a rattle or ^ 
humming-top, betrays a great ignorance of human na- 
ture, and an arrogant felf-conceit in thofe who can ima- 
gine that all but thcmfelves are babies. The further we 
proceed, the more do v/e fee of this want of xvifdom. 
The whole procedure of their inftrntiion luppofes fuch 
a complete furrender of freedom of thought, of com.moii 
knk^ and of common caution, that it feems impoffible 
•that it fhould not have alarmed every fcnlible mind. 
This indeed happened before the Order was feven years 
old. It was wife indeed to keep their Areopagitx ont 
of fight ; but who can be fo fdiy as to believe that their 
.unknown fuperiors were all and always faultlefs men. 
But had they been the men they were repreiented to be 
• — if I have any knowledge of my own heart, or any ca- 
pacity of drawing juft inferences from the condu6l of 
others, I am perfuaded that the knowing his fuperiors 
would have animated the pupil to exertion, that he might 
exhibit a pleahng fpeclacle to fuch intelligent and wor- 
thy judges. Did not the Stoics profefs themfelves to 
be encouraged in the fcheme of life, by the thought 
that the immortal Gods were looking on and paffing 
-their judgments on their manner of atting the part af- 
figned them ? But what abjefct fpirit will be contented 
with working, zealoufly working, for years, after a 
plan of which he is never to learn the full meaning. In 
fhort, the only knowledge that he can perceive is know- 
ledge in its word form, Cunning. Thismufl appear in 
the contrivances by which he will foon find that lie is 
kept in complete fubjettion. If he is a true and zea- 
lous Brother, he has put hanfelf in the power of his Su- 


periors by his refcripts, which they required of him oti 
pretence of their learning his own chara6ler, and of his 
iearning how to know the characters of other men. In 
thefe refcripts they have got his thoughts on many deh- 
cate points, and on the conducl of others. His Direc- 
tors may ruin him by betraying him ; and this without 
being feen in it. I fliould think that wife men would 
know (hat none but weak -or bad men would fubjed 
•themfelves to fuch a talk. They exclude the good, the 
manly, the only fit perfons for affifting them in their en- 
deavours to inform and to rule the world. Indeed I 
may fay that this exclufion is almoft made already by 
connecting the Order with Free Mafonry. Lodges are 
not the reforts of fuch men. They may fometimes be 
found there for an hour's relaxation. But thefe places 
are the haunts of the young, the thoughtlefs, the idle, 
the weak, the vain, or of dehgning Literati ; and ac- 
cordingly this is the condition of three-fourths of the II- 
iuminati whofe names are known to the public. I own 
that the reafons given to the pupil for prefcribing thefe 
taflvs are clever, and well adapted to produce their ef- 
fcft. During the flurry of reception, and the glow of 
expeftation, the danger may not be fufpetled ; but I 
hardlv imadnc that it will remain unperceived when the 
pupil fits down to write his firftleffon. Mafon Lodges, 
however, were the mofl likely places for finding and 
enliiling members. Young men, warmed by declama- 
tions teeming with the flimfy moral cant of Cofmo-po- 
liiifm, are in the proper frame of mind for this Illumi- 
nation. It nov.' appears alio, that the diffentions in 
P>ee Mafonry mufl have had great influence in promot- 
ing this fcheme of Weiihaupt's, which was, in many 
particulars, fo unpromiflng, becaufe it prefuppofes fuch 
a degradation of the ir-ind. But when the fchilmatics in 
Mafonry difputed with warmth, trifles cume to acquire 


unfpeakable importance. The hankering after wonder 
-was not in the lead abated by all the tricks which had 
been detefted, and the impoffibility of the wifiied-for 
difcovcry had never been demonftrated to perfons pre- 
pofrefTed in its favor. They itill choje to believe that 
the fymbols contained fome. important fecret; and hap- 
py will be the man who finds it out. The more frivo- 
lous the fymbols, the more does the heart cling to the 
myllery ; and, to a mind in this anxious ftate, Weif- 
haupt's proffer was enticing. He laid before them a 
fcheme which was fomewhat feafible, was magnificent, 
furpafling our conceptions, but at the fame time fuch as 
permitted us to expatiate on the fubjecl, and even to 
amplify it at pleafure in our imaginations without abfur- 
dity. It does not appear to me wonderful, therefore, 
that fo many were fafcinated till they became at laft re- 
gardlefs of the abfurdity and inconliltency of the means 
by which this fplendid objetl was to be attained. Heay 
.what Spartacus himfelf fays of hidden myfteries. " Of 
all the means I know to lead men, the mod effectual is 
a concealed myftery. The hankering of the mind is ir- 
•reliltible ; and if once a man has taken it into his head 
that there is a myftery in a thing, it is impoiTible to get 
■it out, either by argument or experience. And then, 
we can fo change notions by merely changing a woid. 
What more contemptible than Janaticifm ; but call it 
.cnthujiafm ; then add the little word 7iohle^ and you 
may lead him over the world. Nor are we, in thefe 
bright day 8, a bit better than our fathers, who found 
the pardon of their fins myfieriouOy contained in a much 
greater fin, viz. leaving their family, and going bare- 
footed to Rome." 

Such being the employment, and fuch the difciples, 
fiiould we expert the fruits to be very precious ? No. 


The doflrines which were gradually unfolded were fuch 
as fuited thofe who continued in the Curfus Academiats, 
Thofe who did not, becaule they did not like them, got 
a Std bene ; they were not fit for advancements. The 
numbers however were great ; Spartacus boafted of 600 
m Bavarja alone in 1783. We don't know many of 
them ; few of thofe we know were in the upper ranks 
of life ; and I can fee that it required much wheedling, 
and many letters of long worded German compliments 
from the proud Spartacus, to win even a young Baron 
or a Graf juft come of age. Men in an eafy fituation 
in life could not brook the employment of afpy, which 
is bafe, cowardly, and corrupting, and has in all ages 
and countries degraded the perfon who engages in it#> 
Can the perfon be called wife who thus enllaves himfelf? 
Such perfonsgive up the right of private judgment, and 
rely on their unknown Superiors with the blinded and 
moft abjecl confidence. P\ir their fakes, and to rivet 
ftill fafter their own fetters, they engage in the mofl cor- 
rupting of all employments — and for what ? — To learn 
fnmething more of an order, of which every degree ex- 
plodes the doQrine of a former one. Would it have 
hurt the young Illuminatus to have it explained to him 
all at once ? Would nol this fire his mind — when he fees 
widi the fame glance the great objeft, and the fiinefs of 
the means for attaining it ? Would not the exalted cha- 
raclers of the Superior, fo much excelling himfelf in ta- 
lents, and virtue, and happinefs (otherwife the Order is 
good for nothing) warm his heart, and fill him with emu- 
lation, fince he fees in them, that what is fo ftrongly 
preached to him is an attainable thing ? No, no — it is 
all a trick ; he mufl: be kept hke a child, amufcd with 
rattles, and flars, and ribands — and all tlic fatisfatlion he 
obtains is, like the Mafons. the fun of feeing others run- 
ning the famc.gauiujct. 


'■ \Veifiiaiipt acknowledges that the great influerAce of 
tlie Order may be abufed. Surely, in no way fo eafily 
or fo fatally as by corrupting or fedu6live leflbns in the 
beginning. The miftake or error of the pupil is undif- 
coverable bv himfelf (according to the genuine princi- 
ples of Illumination) for the pupil mull believe his 
Mentor to be infallible — with him alone he is connefted 
>" — his leffons only muft he learn. Who can tell him 
that he has gone wrong— or who can fet him right ? yet 
he certainly may be mifled. 

Here, therefore, there is confufion and deficiency* 
There mufl: be fome ftandard to which appeal can be 
made ; but thi's is inacceflible to all within the pale of 
the Order; it is therefore without this pale, and inde- 
pendent of the Order — and it is attainable only by aban- 
doning the Order. The Quibus Licet, the Primo, 
the Soli, can procure no light to the perfon who does 
not know that he has been led out of the right road to 
virtue and happinefs. The Superiors indeed draw much 
ufeful information from thefe reports, though they af- 
feft to ftand in no need of it, and they make a cruel 

All this is fo much out of the natural road of inflrudi- 
on, that, on this account alone, we may prefume that it. 
is wrong. We are generally fafe when we follow na- 
ture's plans. A child learns in his father's houfe, by 
feeing, and by imitating, and in common domeflic educa- 
tion, he gets much ufeful knowledge, and the chief habits 
which are afterwards to regulate his conduft. Example 
does almoft every thing ; and, with refped to what may 
be called living, as diftinguifhable from profelTion, fpe- 
culation and argumentative in{lru6iion are feldom em- 


ployed, or of any ufe. The indifpenfablenefs of mutuaJ 
forbearance and obedience, for domeftic peace and hap- 
pinefs, foims moll of thefe habits ; and the child, under 
good parents, is kept in a fituation that makes virtue ea- 
lier than vice, and he becomes wife and good without 
any exprefs ftudy about the matter. 

But this Illumination plan is darknefs over all — it is 
too artificial- — and the topics, fi'om which counfel is to 
be drawn, cannot be taken from the peculiar views of 
the Order — for thefe are yet a fecret for the pupil — .and 
muft ever be a fecret for him while under tuition. They 
mud therefore be drawn from common fources, and the- 
Order is of no ufe ; all that can naturally be effeduated. 
by this Aflbciation is the forming, and aiTiduoufly fof- 
tering a narrow, Jewifli, corporation fpirit, totally op- 
pofite to the benevolent pretenfions of the Order. The 
pupil can fee nothing but this, that there is a fet of men> 
whom he does not know, who may acquire incontroula- 
ble power, and may peihaps make ufe of him, but for 
what purpofe, and in what way, he does not know ; how 
can he know that his endeavours are to make man hap^ 
pier, any other way than as he might have known it 
without having put this collar round his own neck ? 

Thefe reflections addrefs themfelves to all men who 
profefs to conduft themfelves by the principles and dic- 
tates of common fenfe and prudence, and who have the 
ordinary iliare of candour and good will to others. It 
requires no fmgular fenlibility of heart, nor great gene- 
rolity, to make fuch people think the doctrines and 
views of the lUuminati falfe, abfurd, foolifli, and ruin- 
ous. But I hope that I addrefs them to thoufands of 
my countrymen and friends, who have much higher no- 
tions of human nature, and who chcrifh with care .die 


^rffeQions and the hopes that are fuited to a rational, a 
benevolent, and a high-minded being, capable of endlefs 

To thofe who enjoy the cheering confidence in the 
fbperin tendance and providence of God, who conlider 
thcmfelves as creatures whom he has made, and whorrt 
he cares for, as the fubjefts of his moral government, 
this Order mud appear with every character of falfe- 
hood and abfurdity on its countenance. What cam 
BE MORE IMPROBABLE than this, tbat He, whom we 
Jook up to as the contriver, the maker, and dire£lor, of 
this goodly frame of things, fhould have fo far miftaken 
his own plans, that this world of rational creatures fhould 
have fubfifted for thoufands of years, before a way 
could be found out, by which his intention of making 
men good and happy could be accomplifhed ; and that 
this method did not occur to the great Artift himfelf, 
nor even to the wifeft, and happieft, and beft men upon 
earth ; but to a few perfons at Munich in Bavaria, who 
had been trying to raife ghofts, to change lead into gold, 
to tell fortunes, or difcover treafures, but had failed in 
all their attempts ; men who had been engaged for years 
in every whim which charad^rifes a weak, a greedy, or 
a gloomy mind. Finding all thefe beyond their reach, 
they combined their powers, and, at once, found out 
this infinitely more important secret — for fecret it 
muft ftill be, otherwife not only the Deity, biit even 
thofe philofophers, will Hill be difappointod. 

Yet this is the doBrine that mufl be fwalTowcd by the 
Minervals and the Illimiinati Minorcs, to wlioin it is not 
yet fafe to difclofe the grand fecret, that there is no fuck 
juperintendance of Deity. At laft, however, when the 
pupil has conceived fuch exalted notions of the knu'<v'- 


ledge of his teachers, and fuch low notions of the blun- 
dering projeftor of this world, it may be no difficult 
matter to perfaade him that all his former notions were 
only old wives tales. By this time he muft have heard 
much about fuperftition, and how mens minds have been 
dazzled by this fplendid pidure of a Providence and a 
moral government of the univerfe. It now appears in- 
compatible with the great objeft of the Order, the prin- 
ciples of univerfal liberty and equality — it is therefore 
rejeded without farther examination, for this reafoa 
alone. This was precifeiy the argument ufed in France 
for rejeding revealed religion.. It was incompatible 
with their Rights of Man* 

It is richly worth obferving how this principle can 
warp the judgment, and give quite another appearance 
to the fame object. Tiie reader will not be difpleaXed 
with a moft remarkable inftance of it, which I, beg leave 
to give at length.. 

Our immortal Newton, whom the philofophers of 
Europe look up to as the honor of our fpecies, whom 
even Mr. Bailly, the Prefidcnt of the National AfTeni- 
bly of France, and Mayor of Paris, cannot find words 
fufiiciently energetic to praife ; this patient,, fagacious, 
and fuccefsful obferver of nature, after having exhibited 
to the wondering world the characleriftic property of 
that principle of m.aterial nature by which all the bodies 
of the folar fyllem are made to form a conne(B:ed and 
permanent univerfe ; and after having lliown that this 
law of aftion alone was adapted to this end, and that if 
gravity had deviated but one thoufandth part from th« 
inverfe duplicate ratio of the dillances, the fyllem muft^ 
in the courfe of a very few revolutions, have gone into 
confufion and ruin — he fits down, and views the goodly 


fcene — and then clofes his Principles of Natural Philo- 
fophy with this refleQ.ion (his Scholium gener ale.) 

" This moft elegant frame of things could not have 
arifen, unlefs by the contrivance and the direflion of a 
wife and powerful Being ; and if the fixed ftars are the 
centres of fyftems, thefe fyftems muft be fimilar j and 
all thefe, conllrufted according to the fame plan, are i'ub- 
jecl to the government of one Being. All thefe he go- 
verns, not as the foul of the world, but as the Lord of 
all ; therefore, on account of his government, he is cal- 
led the Lord God — Pantokrator ; for God is a relative 
term, and refers to fubjecls. Deity is God's govern- 
ment, not of his own body, as thofe think who conhcler 
him as the foul of the world, but of his fervants. The 
fupreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, abfolutely per- 
fe6;. But a being, however perfect, v.ithout govern- 
ment, is not God ; for we fay, my Go^, your God, the 
God of Ifrael. We cannot fay my eternal, my infinite. 
We may have fome notions indeed of his attributes, but 
can have none of his nature. With relpeO: to bodies, 
Vv^e fee only fhapes and colour — hear only founds — 
touch only furfaces. Thefe are attributes of bodies ; 
but of their eifence we know nothing. As a blind man 
can form no notion of colours, we can form none of the 
manner in which God perceives, and underftands, and 
.influences every thing, 

" Therefore we know God only by his attributes. 
What are thefe ? The wife and excellent contrivance, 
ftrufture, and final aim of all things. In thefe his per- 
fections wc admire him, and we wonder. In his direc- 
tion or government, we venerate and worfhip him — we 
worfhip him as his fervants ; and God, without domi- 
nion, without providence, and final aims, is Fate — not 



the object either of reverence, of hope, of lovC) or of 


Butmark the emotions which alFefted the mind of ano- 
ther excellent obferver of Nature, the admirer of New- 
ton, and the perfon who has put the finifhing ftroke to 
the Newtonian philofophy, by fhowing that the accele- 
ration of the moon's mean motion, is the genuine refult 
of a gravatation decreafing in the precife duplicate ratio 
of the diftance inverfely ; I mean Mr. Delaplace, one 
of the moft brilliant ornaments of the French academy 
cf Cciences. He hat, lately publifhed the Syjleme dii 
Monde a moft beautiful compend of aftronomy and of 
the Newtonian philofophy. Having finifhed his work 
with the fame obfervation, " That a gravitation inverfe- 
ly proportional to the fquares of the diltances was the 
■only principle which could unite material Nature into 
a permanent fyftem }" he alfo fits down — furveys the 
fccne — points out the parts which he had brought with- 
in our ken — and then miakes this refletiion : " Beheld 
in its totality, aftronomy is the nobleft monument of the 
human mind, its chief title to intelligence. But, feduced 
by the illulions of fenfe, and by felf conceit, we have 
long confidered ourfelves as the centre of thefe moti- 
ons ; and our pride has been puniflied by the groundlefs 
fears which we have created to ourfelves. We imagine, 
forfooth, that all this is for us, and that: the ftars inilu- 
€.nzQ. our deftinies ! But the labours of ages have con- 
vinced us of oar error, and we find ourfelves on an in- 
fignificant planet, almoft impereeptible in the im^menlity 
offpace. But the fuhlime difcoveries we have made 
richly repay this humble fituation. Let us cherifli thefe 
with care, as the delight of thinking beings — they have 
deftroyed our miftakes as to our relation to the reft of 
the univerfe; errors which were the more fatal, be£au& 


the focial Order depends on juftice and truth alon^ Far 
be from us the dangerous maxim, that it is foraetimes 
ufeful to depart from thefe, and to deceive men, in order 
to infure their happinefs ; but cruel experience has 
fhewn u»s that thefe laws are never totally extin6l." 

. There can be no doubt as to the meaning of thefe laft. 
words — they cannot relate to aftrology — this was entire- 
ly out of date. The " attempts^ to deceive men, in or- 
der to infure their happinefs," can only be thofe by 
which we are made to think too highly of ourfelves. 
" Inhabitants of this pepper-corn, we think ourfelves 
the peculiar favorites of Heaven, nay, the chief objeds 
of care to a Being, the Maker of all ; and then we ima- 
gine that, after this life, we are to be happy or mifera- 
ble, according as we accede or not to this fjbjugation to 
opinions which enfiave us. But truth and juitice have 
broken thefe bonds." — But where is the force of the ar- 
gument which entitles this perfecler of the Newtonian 
philofophy to exult fo much ? It all rells on this. That 
this earth is but as a grain of muflard-feed. Man would 
be more worth attention had he inhabited Jupiter or the 
Sun. Thus may a Frenchman look down on the jioble 
creatures who inhabit Orolong or Pelew. But whence, 
arifes the abfurdity of the intelletlual inhabitants of this 
pepper-corn being a proper objeB; of attention ? it is 
becaufe our fliallow comprehenfions cannot, at the fame 
glance, fee an exteniive fcene, and perceive its mofr mi- 
nute detail. 

David, a King, and a foldier bad fome nc-Llons cf this 
kind. The heavens, it is true, pointed Out to him a 
Maker and Ruler, which is more than they fecm to have 
done to the Gallic philofopher ; but David was afraid 
that he would be forgotten in the crowd, and cries out. 


" Lord ! what is man, that thou art mindful of him ?'* 
But David gets rid of his fears, not by becoming a phi^ 
lofopher, and difcovering all this to be abfurd — he 
would ftill be forgotten — he at once thinks of what he is 
— a noble creature — high in the fcale of nature. " But," 
fays he, " 1 had forgotten myfelf. Thou haft made 
inan but a little lower than the angels— thou haft crown- 
ed him with glory and honor — thou haft put all things 
under his feet." Here are exalted fentiments, fit for the 
creature whofe ken pierces through the immenfity of the 
vifible univerfe, and who fees his relation to the uni- 
verfe, being nearlv allied to its Sovereign, and caoablef 
of rifmg continually in his rank, by cultivating thofe ta- 
lents which diftinguifti and adorn it. 

Thoufands, I truft, there are, who think that this life 
is but a preparation for another, in which the mind of' 
man will have the whole wonders of creation and of pro- 
vidence laid open to its enraptured view, where it will 
fee and comprehend with one glance what Newton, the 
moft patient and fuccefsful of all the obfervers of na- 
ture, took years of meditation to find out — where it will 
attain that pitch of wifdom, goodnefs, and enjoym^ent, 
of whicli our confciences tell us we are capable, tho' it 
far furpaifes that of the wifeft, the beft, and the happieft 
of men. Such perfons will confider this Order as de- 
grading and deteftable, and as in dire8; oppofitibn to 
their moft confident expetlatioiis : For it pretends to 
•what is impofiible, to perfe6c peace and happinefs in this 
life. They believe, and they feel, that man muft be 
made perfeft through fufFerings, which ihall call into ac- 
tion powers of mind that otherwife w'ould never have 
imfold-ed them.felves— powers which are frequently four- 
ces of the pureft and moft foodiing pleafures, and natur- 
ally make us rc^ our eyes and hopes on that ftate where 


■*:very tear fliall we wiped away, and where the kind af- 
fetlions (liall become the never-failing fourcesof pure 
and unfading delight. Such perfons fee the palpable ab- 
furdity of a preparation which is equally neceffary for 
all, and yet muft be confined to the minds of a few, 
who have the low and indelicate appetite for frivolous 
play -things, and for grofs fenfual pleafures. Such minds 
will turn away from this boailed treat with loathing and 

I am well aware that fome of my feaders rtlay fmile 
at this, and think it an enthufiaftical working up of the 
imagination, fimilar to what I reprobate in the cafe of 
Utopian happinefs in a ftate of univerfal Liberty and 
Equality. It is like, they will fay, to the declamation 
?n a fermbti by perfons of the trade, who are trained up 
to fineffe, by which they allure and tickle weak minds. 

I acknowledge, that in the prefent cafe, I do not ad- 
drefs myfelf to the cold hearts, who contentedly 

*' Sink andftumher in their ceils of day ;" 

■ Peace to all fuch ;•- but to the felires aniirKt). 

Gicibus hare cogrtofcere cura ;" — to thofe who have enjoy- 
ed the pleafures of fcience, who have been fuccefsful — ■ 
who have made difcoveries — who have really illuminat- 
ed the world — to the Bacons, the Newtons, the Lockes, 
—Allow me to mention onfe, Daniel Bernoulli, the moll 
elegant mathematician, the only philofopher, and the 
moft worthy man, of that celebrated family. He faid 
to a gentleman (Dr. Staehlingj who repeated it to me, 
that " when reading fome of thofe wonderful gueffes of 
Sir Ifaac Newton, the fubfequent demonftration of 

. Z 


vhieh has been the -chief fource of fame to his moft ce^ 
]^brated commentators — his mind has fometimes beer* 
fo overpowered by thrilling emotions, that he has wifli- 
ed that moment to be his lail ; and that it was this which 
gave him the cleared conception of the happinefs of 
heaven." If fach delightful emotions could beexcited- 
by the perception of mere truth, what mufl they be. 
vhen each of thefe truths is an inftance of w' ifdom, and 
when we recolleft, that what we call wifdom in the 
works of nature, is always the nice adaptation of means, 
for producing hcnejicent ends ; and that each of thefe af- 
fecting qualities is fufceptible of degrees which are 
boundlefs, and exceed our higheft conceptions. What 
can this complex emotion or feeling be but rapture ? 
But Bernoulli is a DoQor of Theology — and therefore 
a fufpicious perfon, perhaps one of the combination 
hired by defpots to enflave us. I will take another, 
man, a gentleman of rank and family, a foldier, who 
often lignalifed himfelf as a naval commander — who at 
one time forced his way through a powerful fleet of the 
Venetians with a fmall fquadron, and brought relief to 
a dlltreffed garrifon. I w"oivld defire the reader to pe- 
rufe the conclufion of Sir Kenhclm Digby's Treatifes on 
Body and Mind ; and after having refleQed on the ftate 
of fcience at the time thisauUior wrote, let him coolly 
veigh the incitements to manly conduft which this fol- 
dier finds in the differences obferved between body and 
mind ; and then let him fay, on his confcience, whether 
they are more feeble than thofe which he can draw from 
the eternal deep of death. If he thinks that they are-^ 
he is in the proper frame for initiation into Spartacus's 
higher myfteries. He may be either Magus or Rex. 

Were this a proper place for confidering the queftion 
a<^ 3 queftion of fcience or truth, I would fay, that eve- 


ry man who has been difuccejiful ftudent of nature, and 
"Nvho will reft his conclufions on the fame maxims of pro- 
bable reafoning that have piocured him fuccefs in his 
pall refearches, will confider it as next to certain that 
there is another ftate of exiftence for rational man. For 
he muft own, that if this be not the cafe, there is a mod' 
lingular exception to a propofition which the whole 
courfe of his experience has made him confider as a 
truth founded on univerial induQiion, viz. that nature 
accoTiipliJhes all her plans^ and that cyexy clafs of beings 
attains all the improvement of which it is capable. LeC 
him but turn his thoughts inward, he v;ili feel that his 
intellecl is capable of improvement, in comparifon wiili 
which Newton is but a child. I could purfue this argu- 
ment very far, and (I think) warm the heart of every 
man whom I Ihould wifli to call my friend. 

What opinion will be formed of this AlTociation by 
the modeft, the lowly-minded, the candid, who acknow- 
ledge that they too often feel the fflperior force of pre- 
fent and fenhble pleafures, by which their minds are 
drawn off from the contemplation of what their confci- 
cnces tell them to be right — to be their dutiful and filial 
fentiments and emotions refpetling their great and good 
Parent — to be their dutiful and neighbourly affefclions, 
and their proper conduct to all around them — and which 
diminifh their veneration for that purity of thought and 
moderation of appetite which becomes their noble na- 
tures. What mull they think of this Order ?" Confcious 
of frequent faults, which would offend themfelves if 
committed by their deareft children, they look up to 
their Maker with anxiety — are forry for having fo far 
forgotten their duty, and fearful that they may again 
forget it. Their painful experience tells them that their 
leafon is often too weak, their iniorraation too fcantyj 


pr its light is obftru6led by pafiTion and prejudices, whicl^ 
diftort and difcolour every thing ; or it is unheeded dur- 
ing their attention to prefent objefts. Happy fhoul4 
they be, if it fliould pleafe their kind Parent to remind 
them of their duty from time to time, or to influence 
tJieir mind in any way that would coijipenfate for their 
own ignorance, their own weaknefs, or even their indo- 
lence and negleft. They dare not expe6t fuch a favor, 
which their modefly tells them they do not deferve, and 
>vhich they fear may be unfit to be granted ; but whei^ 
fuch a comfort is held out to. them, with eager hearts^ 
they receive it — they blefs the kindnefs that granted it, 
and the hand that brings it,- — -Such amiable charaftexs 
have appeared in all ages, and in ail fituations of man- 
kind. They have not in all inilances been wife — oftei^ 
have they been precipitate, and have too readily catch- 
ed at any thing which pretended to give them the fo 
much wiflied-for affiftances ; and, unfortunately, there 
have been enthufiafts, or villains, who have taken ad, 
vantage of this univerfal wifli of anxious man ; and the 
world has been darkened by cheats, whq have mifrepre- 
fented God to mankind, have filled us with vain ter- 
rors, and have then quieted our fears by fines, and far 
crifices, and mortifications, and fervices, which they 
faid made more than amends for all our faults. Thus 
was our duty to our neighbour, to our own dignity^ 
and to oqr Maker and Parent, kept out of fight, and re- 
ligion no longer came in aid to our fenfe of right an4 
wrong ; hut, on the contrary, by thefe fuperftitions it, 
opened the doors of heaven to the worthiefs and the 
wicked. — But I wifii not to fpeak of thefe men, hut of 
the good, the candid, the modest, the hvmble who 
know their failings, who love their duties, but wilh to 
know, to perceive, and to love them Hill more. Thefe 
fire they who thiuk and believe that " the Gofpel has 


brought life and immortality to light," that is, within 
their reach. They think it worthy of the Father of maiir. 
kind, and they receive it with thankful hearts, admiring 
above all things the fimplicity of its morality, compre- 
hended in one ientence, " Do to another what you can 
reafonably wifh that another fliould do to you," and 


ED TO MEN. Here ■ they find a ground of rehgnatioa 
under the troubles of life, and a lupport in the hour of 
death, quite fuited to the diffidence of their charafter. 
Such men are ready to grant that the Stoics were per- 
fons of noble and exalted minds, and that they had wor^ 
thy conceptions of the rank- of man in the fcalc of God's 
works ; but they confefs that they themfclves do not 
feel all that fupport from Stoical principles which man 
too frequently needs } and they fay that they are not 
fmgular in their opinions, but that the bulk of mankind 
are prevented, by their want of heroic fortitude, by 
their fituation, or their want of the opportunities of cul-r 
tivating their native ftrength of mind, from ever attain- 
ing this hearty fubmiffion to the v;ill of Deity, — They 
maintain, that the Stoics were hut a few, a very few, from 
^mong many millions — and therefore //i^ir being fatisfied 
was but a trifle amidft die general difcontent,and fretting, 
and defpair. — Such men will moft certainly ftart back 
from this Illumination with horror and fright — from a 
Society which gives the' lie to their fondeft hopes, makes 
a fport of their grounds of hope, and of their deliverer; 
and which, after laughing at their credulity, bids them 
fliake off all religion whatever, and denies the exiRence 
of that Supreme Mind, the pattern of all excellence, 
who till now had filled their thoughts with admiration 
^od love — from an Order which preteacls to free theia 



from fpiritual bondage, and then lays on theirnecks a 
load ten times more oppreiTive and intolerable, from 
which they have jio power of ever efcaping. Men of 
fenfe and virtue will fpurn at fuch a propofal ; and even 
the profligate, who trade with Deity, muft be fenhblc 
that they will be better off with their priefts, whom they 
know, and among whom they may make a feleftion of 
fuch as will with patience and gentlenefs clear up their 
doubts, calm their fears, and encourage their hopes. 

And all good men, all lovers of peace and of juflice, 
will abhor and reject the thought of overturning the pre- 
fent conftitution of things, faulty as it may be, merely 
in the endeavour to eilablifii another, which the vices of 
mankind may fubvert again in a twelvemonth. They 
muft fee, that in order to gain their point, the propofers 
have found it neceffary to deflroy the grounds of mora- 
lity, by permitting the moft wicked means for accom- 
plifliing any end that our fancy, warped by pafiion or in- 
tereft, may reprefent to us as of great importance. They 
fee, that inflead of morality, vice mult prevail, and that 
therefore there is no fecurity for the continuance of this 
Utopian felicity ; and, in the mean time, defolation and 
mifery mufl lay the world walie during the ftruggle, and 
half of thofe for whom we are flriving will be fv/ept from 
the face of the earth. We have but to look to France, 
where in eight years there have been more executions 
and fpoilations and diflrelfes of every kind by the pou- 
vcir revohiticnnaire, than can be found in the Idng re- 
cords of that defpotic monarchy. 

There is nothing in the whole conftitution of the Illu- 


minati that ftrikes me with more horror than the propo- 
fals of Hercules and Minos to enlift the women in this 
ihocking warfare with all that " is good, and pure, and 


lo\^e]y^and of good report," They could not have fallen 
on any expedient that will be more elfeftual and fatal. 
If any of my countrywomen fiiall honor thcfe pages with 
a reading, I would call on them, in the mod: earneft 
manner, to confider this as an affair of the utmoft im- 
portance to themfelves. I would conjure them by the 
regard they have for their own dignity, and for their 
rank in focicty, to join againll thefe enemies of human 
nature, and profligate degraders of the fcx; and I would 
affurc them that the prefent ftateof things almoft putsitin 
their power to be the faviours of the world. But if they 
are reraifs, and yield to the feduftion, they will fall from 
that high ftate to which they have arifen in ChrKtiaa 
Europe, and again fink into that infignificancy or flave- 
ry in which the fex is found in all ages and countries out: 
of the hearing of Chriftianity. 

I hope tliat my countrywomen will confider this fo- 
lemn addrefs to them as a proof of the high eftcem in 
which I hold them. They will not be offended then if, 
in this feafon of alarm and anxiety, when I wifh to im- 
prefs their minds with a ferious truth, I fhail wave cere- 
mony which is always defigning, and fpeak of them in 
honcil but decent plainnc fs. 

Man is immerfed in luxury. Our accommodations 
are now fo numerous that every thing is pleafure. Even 
in very fober fituations in this highly cultivated Soci- 
ety, there is hardly a thing that remains in the form of 
a neceilary of life, or even of a mere conveniency — • 
every thing is ornamented — it muft not appear of ufe 
— it mufl appear as giving fome fenfible pleafure. I do 
not fay this by way of blaming — it is nature — -ma« is a 
refining creature, and our mofl boafled acquirements 
are but refmecients on our neceifary wants. Our hut 


becomes a palace, our blanket a fine drefs, aiid exit 
arts become fciences. This difcontent with the natiii-al 
condition of things, and this difpofition to refinement, 
is a charafteriftic of our fpecies, and is the great em- 
ployment of our lives. The direQion tvhich this pro- 
penfity chances to take in any age or nation, marks its 
character in the mofl: confpicuous and interefting raan- 
Ker. All have it in fome degree, and it is very con- 
ceivable that, in fome, it may conftitute the chief ob- 
jefcl of attention. If this be the cafe in any nations, it 
is furely mo{\ likclv to be fo in tho-fe where the accom- 
modations of life are the moft numerous — therefore in 
a rich and luxurious Ration. 1 may furely, without 
exaggeration or reproach, give that appellation to our 
own nation at this moment. If you do not go to the 
very lowefl: clafs of people, who muft labour all day, is 
it not the chief objed of all to procure perceptible jjlea- 
fure in one way or another ? The fober and bufy ftrug- 
gle in the thoughts and hopes of getting the means of en- 
joying the corfiforts o-f life without farther labour — and 
many have no other object than pleafure. 

Then let us refleft that it is woman that is to grace th^ 
whole — It is in nature, it is the very conftitution of 
man, that woman, and every thing conne6led with wo- 
man, muft appear as the ornament of life. That this 
mixes with every other focial fentiment, appears from 
the conduct of our fpecies in all ages and in every fitu- 
ation. This I prefume would be the cafe, even tho-ugh 
there were no qualities or talents in the fex to jullify it. 
Tliis fentiment refpcBing the fex is neceffary, in order 
to rear fo hclplefs, fo nice, and fo improveable a crea- 
ture as man ; without it, the long abiding tafi; could 
not be performed : — and I think that I may venture ta 
iay that it is performed in the different ft-ates of fociety 


tieariy in proportion as this preparatory and indifpenfa* 
ble fentiment is in force* 

(3n the other hand, I think it no lefs evident that it 
is the defire of the women to be agreeable to the men, 
and that they will model themfelves according to what 
they think will pleafe; Without this adjuftment of 
fentiments by nature, nothing would go on. We ne- 
ver obferve any fuch want of fymmetry in the works o£ 
God. If, therefore, thofe who take the lead, and give 
the fafhion in fociety, were wife and virtuous^, 1 havtf 
tio doubt but that the women would fet the brightefl 
pattern of every thing that isexcellent. But if the meri 
are nice and faftidious fenfualifts, the women will be 
t-efined and elegant voluptuaries* 

There is no deficiency in the female mind, either iri 
talents or in difpofitions ; nor can we fay with certainty 
that there is any fubjeft of intelleftual or moral difcuf- 
fion in which women nave not excelled. If the delica- 
cy of their conftitutioUj and other phyfical caufes, al- 
low the female fex a fmaller fhare of forae mental pow- 
fers, they poflefs others in a fuperior degree^ which are 
ho lefs refpeBable in their own nature, and of as great 
importance to fociety. Inftead of defcanting at large 
on their powers of mind, and fupporting my aiTertions 
by the inftances of a Hypatia, a Schurman, a Zenobia, 
an Elifabethj &c. I may repeat the account given of 
the fex by a perfon of uncommon experience, who faw 
them without difguife, or any tfiotive that could lead 
them to play a feigned part. — Mr. Ledyard, who tra- 
verfed the greateft part of the world, for the mere in- 
dulgence of his tafte for obfervation of human nature j 
generally in Want, and often in extreme mifery. 

A *. 

3^4 *i^HE ILLUMINATr. 

'• I have (fays he) always remarked that woraerr, kit 
all countries, are civil, obliging, tender, and humane ;. 
that they are ever inclined to be gay and cheerful, timor- 
ous and modeft ; and that they do not hefitate, like 
man, to perform a kind or generous aftion. — Not 
haughty, not arrogant, not fupercilious, they are full 
of courtefy, and fond of fociety — more liable in gene-; 
ral. to err than man, but in general, alfo, more virtu- 
ous, and performing more good aftions than he. To a- 
woman, whether civilized or favage, I never addrefl'ed 
myfelfin the language of decency and friendlhip, with- 
out receiving a decent and friendly anfwer — with man 
it has often been otherwife^ 

" In wandering over the barren plains of inhofpitable 
Denmark, through honeft Sv^reden, and frozen Lap- 
land, rude and churlifli Finland, unprincipled RufTia, 
and the wide fpread regions of the wandering Tartar — • 
if hungry, dry, cold,, wet, or lick, the women have 
ever been friendly to me, and uniformly fo ; and to add 
to this virtue (fo worthy of the appellation of benevo- 
lence) thefe a£lions have been performed in fo free and 
ib kind a manner, that if I was thirfty, I drank the 
fweeteft draught, and if hungry, I ate the coarfe meal 
with a double relilli." 

And thefe are they whom Weifiiaupt would corrupt ! 
- One of thefe, whom he had embraced with fondnefs, 
would he have murdered, to fave his honor, and qua- 
lify himfelf to preaci\ virtue ! But let us not be too fe- 
vere on Weifhaupt — let us wain ourfelves clear of all 
flain before we think of reprobating him. Are we not 
guilty in fome degree, when we do not cultivate in the 
women thefe powers of mind, and thofe difpofitions of 
heart, which would eq^ually dignify them in every fta- 


tion as in thofe humble ranks in which Mr. Ledyard 
moft frequently faw them ? I cannot think that we do 
this. They are not only to grace the Vv'hole of cultivat- 
ed fociety, but it is in their faithful and affefilionate 
perfonal attachment that we are to find the fweeteft plca- 
furcs that life can give. Yet in all the fituations where 
the manner in which they are treated is not dilated by 
■the ftern laws of neceffity, are they not trained up for 
mere amufement — are not ferious occupations confider- 
ed as a tafic which hurts their lovelinefs ? What is this 
but felfiflmefs, or as if they had no virtues worth cultivat- 
ing ? Their bujinefs is fuppofed to be the ornamenting 
themfelves, as if nature did not ditlate this to diem al- 
ready, with at lead as much force as is neceifary. Eve- 
ry thing is prefcribed to them becavfe it makes them, more 
lovely — even their moral ieiTons arc enforced by this ar- 
gument, and Mrfs Woolftoncroft is perfcftly right when 
fhe fays that the fine leffons given to young women by 
Fordyce or Rouffeau are nothing but felfifh and refined 
•vbluptuoufnef^. This advocate of her fex puts her fif- 
ters in the proper point of view, when (he tells them 
that they are, lik-e man, the fubjefts of God's moral go- 
vernment — like man, preparing themfelves for bound- 
lefs improvement in a better ftate of exiftence. Had 
fhe adhered, to this view of the matter, and kept it con- 
•ftantly irr fight, her book (vyhich doubtlefs contains ma-- 
iiy excellent things, highly deferving of tlieir ferious 
confideration) would have been a moii valuable work: 
She juft^ly obferves, that the virtues of the fex are great 
and refpeftable, but that in' our mad chace of pieafure, 
only pieafure, they are little thought of or attended to. 
Man trufts to his own uncontroulable power, or to the 
general goodnefs of the fex, that their virtues will ap- 
pear when we have occafion for them ; — " but we will 
lend for thefe fome other time i"- — Many noble difplays 


do they make of the moil difficult attainments, Such 
is the patient bearing up under misfortunes, which has 
no brilliancy to fupport it in the effort. This is more 
difficult than braving danger in an a6live and confpicu- 
ous fituation. How often is a woman left with a family 
and the ffiattered remains of a fortune, loft perhaps by 
.diffipatiqn or by indolence— and how feldom, how very 
feldom, do we fee woman flirink from the taflc, or dif- 
charge it with negligence ? Is it not therefore folly next 
to madnefs, not to be careful of this our greateft blef- 
iing — of things which fo nearly concern our peace— nor 
guard ourfelves, and thefe our beft companions and 
friends, from the effeds of this fatal Illumination ? It 
has indeed brought to. light what dreadful lengths men 
will go, when under the fanatical and dazzling glare of 
happinefs in a ftate of liberty and equality, and fpurred 
on by infatiable luxury, and not held in check by moral 
feelings and the reftraints of religion— and mark, reader, 
that the women have here alfo taken the cornplexion of 
the men, and have even gone beyond them. IF we have 
feen a Jon prefent hi.nfelf to the National Allembly of 
France, profeffing his fatisfa6lion with the execution of 
iiis father three days before, and declaring himfelf a true 
citizen, who prefers the nation to all other confidera- 
tions ; we have alfo feen, an the fame day, wives de- 
jiouncing their hufbands, and (O fliocking to human 
nature !) mothers denouncing their fons, as bad citizens 
and traitors,. Marjc too what return the women have 
met with far all their horrid fervices, where, to exprefs 
their fentiments of civifm and abhorrence of royalty, 
they threw away, the charaQer of their fex, and bit the 
amputated limbs of thei,r murdered countrymen.* Sure- 

* I fay this on the authority of a young gentleman, an emi- 
grant, who faw it, and who faid, that they were women, not of 
the dregs of the Palais lloyal, nor of infamous chai-a(^er, but well 


j^y thefe patriotic women merited that the rights of their 
lex (hould be coulidered in full council, and they were 
well entitled to a feat ; but there is not a lingle a6l of 

:their government in which the (ex is confidered as hav- 
ing any rights whatever, or that they are thiags to be 
cared for. 

Are not the accurfed fruits of Illumination to be fcen 
in the prefent humiliating condition of woman in France? 
pampered in every thing that can reduce them to tlie 
mere inftrument of animal plealure. In their prefent 
flate of national moderation (as they call it) and fecuri- 
ty, fee Madame Talien come into the public theatre, ac- 
companied by other btauhful women (I was about to 
have milrtamed them Ladies) laying aiidc ail modefty, 
and prefendng themfelves to the public view, with bared 
Jimbs, a la Saiivage^ as the alluring objetls of defire. I 
make no doubt but that this is a ferious matter, encourag- 
ed, nay, prompted by government. To keep the minds of 
the Parihans in the prefent fever of diifolute gaiety, they 
are at more expence from the national ireafury for the 
fupport of the fixty theatres, than all the penlions and 
honorary offices in Britain, three times told, amount tO;. 
.\Vas not their abominable farce in the church of Notre 
Dame a bait of the fam.e kind, in the true fpirit of 
Weifhaupt's Erotcrion ? 1 was pleafed to fee among the 
prielts of that folemni^y Mr, Brigonzi, an old acquaint- 
ance, formerly Machinijle (and excellent in his profciH- 
on) to the opera at tlif palace in St. Peterfburg. He 
was a moll zealfcjus Mafon, and Chevalier de 1 Orient ; 
and I knov/ that he went to Paris in the fame capacity 
of Machinijle d^ rOpera ; fo that I am next to certain 

drelTed. — I am forry to add, that the relation, accompanied with 
.looks of horror and difguft, only proypked a contemptuous fn^ile 
.from au illuminated Britiih Fair one. 


that this is the very man. But what will be the end of 
all this ? The fondlings of the wealthy will be pamper- 
ed in all the indulgences which faftidious voluptuoufnefs 
finds neceffary for varying or enhancing its pleafures ; but 
they will either be flighted as toys, or they will be im- 
mured ; and the companions of the poor will be drudg- 
es and {laves. 

i am fully perfuaded that it was the enthufiaftic ad- 
tniration of Grecian democracy that recommended ta 
the French nation the drefs a la Grecque^ which exhibits^ 
not the elegant, ornamented beauty, but the beautiful 
female, fully as well as Madame Talien's drefs a la Saw- 
^oage. It was no doubt with the fame adherence ioferi- 
■ous principle, that Mademoifelle Therouanne was moft 
beautifully dreffed a VAmazonne on the 5th of October 
1789, when fhe turned the heads of fo many young of- 
ficers of the regiments at Verfailles. The Cvtherea, the 
hominum droumque voluptas, at the -cathedral of Notre 
Dame, was alfo dreffed a la Grccque ; and in this, and 
in much of the folemnities of that day, I recognized the 
tafte and invention of my old acquaintance Biigonzi. I 
recollefted the dreffes of our premiere id Jeconde Surveil- 
lantes in the Lege de la FidelitL There is a mofl evi- 
dent and characleriftic change in the whole fyflem of fe- 
male drefs in France. The Filles de l' Opera always 
gave the ton, and v;ere furely withheld by no rigid prin- 
ciple. They fometimes produced very extravagant and 
fantaflic forms, but thefe were almofl always in the flyle 
of the higheft ornament, and they truflcd, for the reft of 
the impreffion which they wifhed to make, to the fafci- 
nating expreffion of elegant movements. This indeed 
was wonderful, and hardly conceivable by any who have 
not feen a grand ballet performed by good aftors. I 
have fhed tears of the moft fnicere and tender furrow 


during the exhibition of Antigone, fet to mulic by Tra- 
etta, and performed by Madame Meilcour and Sre To- 
reili, and Zantini. I can eafily conceive the impreflion 
to be ftili ftronger, though perhaps of another kind, when 
the former ftiperb drefles are changed for the expreffive 
fimplicity of the Grecian. I cannot help thinking that 
the female ornaments in the reft of Europe, and even 
among ourfelves, have lefs elegance fmce we loft the 
imprimatur of the French court. But fee how all this 
will terminate, when we fliall have brought the fex fc> 
low, and will not even wait for a Mahometan paradife. 
What can we expeft but fuch a diffolutenefs of man- 
ners, that the endearing ties of relation and family, and 
mutual confidence within doors, will be flighted, and will 
ceafe ; and every man muft ftand up for himfclf, fingle 
and alone, in perfeft equality, and full liberty to do 
whatever his own arm (but that alone) is able to accom- 
plifh. This is not the fuggeftion of prudifli fear, I think 
it is the natural courfe of things, and that France is ^t 
this moment giving to the world the fulleft proof of 
Weifhaupt's fagacity, and the judgment with which he 
has formed his plans. Can it tend to the improvement of 
our morals or fnanners to have our ladies frequent the 
gymnaftic theatres, and fee them decide, like the Roman 
matrons, on the merits of a naked gladiator or wreftler ? 
Have we not enough of this already with our vaulters 
and pofture-mafters, and fliould we admire any lady who 
had a rage for fuch fpeftacles ? Will it improve our tafte 
to have our rooms ornamented with fuch paintings and 
fculptures as filled the cenaculum, and the ftudy of the 
refined and elegant moralift Horace, who had the art — 
ridendo dicere veruvi ? Shall we be improved when fuch 
indulgences are thought compatible with fuch leftbns as 
he generally gives for the condud of life ? The pure 
MoxaUty of IlluminafifiO is now employed in ftrippin^ 


Italy oral! thofe precious remains of ancient art arid 
voluptuoufnefs ; and Paris will ere long be the depofit 
and the refort of artifls from all nations, there to ftudy 
the works of ancient mailers, and to return from thence 
pandars of public corruption. The plan is mafterly, and 
the low-born Statefmen and Generals of France may irt 
this refped be fet on a level with a Colbert or a Conde.- 
But the confequences of this Gallic dominion ovef 
the minds of fallen man will be as dreadful as their do- 
minion over their lives and fortunes. 

Recollecl in what manner Spartacus propofed io 
corrupt his lifters (for we need not fpeak of the manner 
in which he expe6ted that this would promote his plan 
— this is abundantly plain.) It was by deftroying their 
moral fentiments, and their fentiments of religion. — ' 
Recollect what is the recommendation that the Atheift 
Minos gives of his ftep-daughters, when he fpeaks of 
them as proper perfons for the Lodge of Sifters. " They 
have got over all prejudices, and, in matters of re- 
ligion, they think as I do." Thefe profligates judged 
rightly that this affair required much caution, and that the 
iitmoft attention to decency, and even delicacy, muft be 
obferved in their rituals and ceremonies, otherwife they 
v.'ould be difgujied. This was judging fairly of the feel- 
ings of a female mind. But they judged falfely, and on- 
ly according to their own coarfe experience, when they 
attributed their difguft and their fears to coynefs. Coy- 
nefs is indeed the inftinQive attribute of the female. In 
voman it is very great, and it is perhaps the genuine 
fource of the dijgnjl of which the Illuminati were fufpi- 
cious. But they have been dim-fighted indeed, or very 
unfortunate in their acquaintance, if they never obferved 
any other fource of repugnance in the mind of woman 
to what is immoral or immodeft — if thev did not fee dif- 


like— moral difapprobation. Do they mean to infinuate, 
that in that regard which modeft women exprefs in all 
their words and aftions, for what every one underftands 
"by the terms decency, modefty, filthinefs, obfcenity, they 
only fhow female coynefs ? Then are they very blind in- 
ftruftors. But they are not fo blind. The accomit 
given of the initiation of a young Sifter at Frankfort, 
under the feigned name Pfycharion^ fhows the moft fcru- 
pulous attention to the moral feelings of the fex ; and 
the confufion and difturbance which it occafioned among 
the ladies, after all their care, fhows, that when they 
thought all right and delicate, they had been but coarfe 
judges. Minos damns the ladies there, becaufe they are 
too free, too rich, too republican, and too wife, for be- 
ing led about by the nofe (this is his own exprefiion.) 
But Philo certainly thought more corredly of the fex 
in general, when he fays. Truth is a modeft girl : She 
maybe handed about like a lady, by good fenfe and 
good manners, but muft not be bullied and driven about 
like a ftrumpet. I would give the difcourfes or addrcf- 
fes which were made on that occafion to the different 
clafTes of the aflembly, girls, young ladies, wives, young 
men, and ftrangers, which are really well compofed and 
pretty, were they not fuch as would offend my fair 

The religious fentiments by which mortals are to be 
afTifted, even in the difcharge of their moral duties, and 
ftill more, the fentiments which are purely religious, 
and have no reference to any thing here, are precifely 
thofe which are mofl eafily excited in the mind of wo- 
man. Affetlion, admiration, filial reverence, are, if I 
miftake not exceedingly, thofe in which the women far 
furpafs the men ; and it is on this account that we ge- 

B b 


ncrally find them {o much difpofed to devotion, whrefe 
is nothing but a fort of fond indulgence of thefe affec- 
tions without limit to the imagination. The enraptur-^ 
• ed devotee pours out her foul in expreflions of thefe 
feelings, iult as a fond mother mixes the careffes ^iven 
-to her child ^vi^h the moft extravagant expreiTions of 
love. The devotee even endeavours to excite higher 
degrees of thefe affe6lion.s, by expatiating on fuch cir- 
cumftances in the divine conduft with rei'jcft to man as 
Tiaturally awaken them ; and he does this without any 
fear of exceeding ; becaufe Infinite Wifdom and Good- 
nefs will always juftify the fentiment, and free the ex- 
prefiion of it from all charge of hyperbole or extrava- 

I am convinced, therefore, that the female mind is. 
■well adapted to cultivation by means of religion, and 
that their native foftnefs and kindnefs of heart will al- 
ways be fufEcient for procuring it a favorable reception 
fcom them. It is therefore with double regret that I fee 
any of them join in the arrogant pretenfions of our Illu- 
minated philofophers, who fee no need of fuch affiflan- 
ces for the knowledge and difcharge of their duties. 
There is nothing fo unlike that general modefty of 
thought, and that diffidence, which we are difpofed to 
think the chara6ler of the female mind. I am inclined 
to think, that fuch deviations from ihe general conduct 
of the fex are marks of a harflier character, of a heari 
that has lefs fenlibility, and i;5 on the whole lefs amiable 
than that of others ; yet it muft be owned that there are 
fome fuch among us. Much, if not the whole of this 
perverfion, has, I am perfuaded, been owing to the con- 
tagion of bad example in the men. They are made fa- 
miliar M'ith fuch expreflions — their firll horror is gone, 
and (would to heaven tlaat I tvct^ miflaken !) fome o£ 


diem liave alircady wounded their confciences to fuch a 
degree, that they have fome reafon to wifh that rehgion 
may be without foundation. 

But I would call upon all, and theje women in parti- 
cular, to confider this matter in another light — as it may 
affeft themfelves in this life ; as it may afFe6l their rank 
and treatment in ordinary fociety. i would fay to them, 
that if the world fliaii once adopt the belief that this lif6 
is our all, then, the true maxim of rational condu6: wili 
be, to " eat and to drink, fince to-morrow we are to 
die ;" and that when they have nothing to truli to but 
the fondnefs of the men, they will fooit find themfelves 
reduced to flavery. The crown which they now wear 
will fall from their heads, and they will no longer be the 
arbiters of what is lovely in human life. The empire of 
beauty is but lliort ; and even in republican France, it 
ivill not be many years that Madame Talien can fafci- 
nate the Parifian Theatre by the exhibition of her charms, 
Man is faftidious and changeable, and he is ftronger thah 
they, and can always take his own will with refpeO: t'o 
woman. At prefent he is Vv^ith-held by refpeft for her 
moral worth — and many are with-held by religion — and 
many more are with-held by public laws, which lav*s 
were fram.ed at a time when religious truths influenced 
the minds and the conduSl of men. When the fentimcnts 
of men change, they will not be fo foolifli as to keep in 
force laws which cramp their flrongeftde fnts. Then will: 
the rich have their Harems^ and the poor their drudges. 

Nay, it is not merely thecircumftance of woman's Ik- 
ing conhdered as the moral companion of man that gives 
the fex its empire among us. There is fomethiug of 
this to be obferved in all nations. Of all the diflinftionj 
Tivhich fet our fpecies above the ether feniient inhabit- 


ants of this globe, making us as unlike to the beft of 
them as they are to a piece of inanimate matter, there is 
none more remarkable than the diflPerences obfervable 
in the appearances of thofe defires by v/hich the race i^ 
continued. As I obferved already, fuch a diftinBion 
is indifpenfably neceflary. There mull bea.moral con- 
jieftion, in order that the human fpecies may be a race 
of rational creatures, iraproveable, not only by the en- 
creafmg experience of the individual, but alfo by the he- 
ritable experience of the (ucceflive generations. It may 
be obferved between the folitary pairs in Labrador, 
where human nature ftarves, like the ftunted oak in the 
crevice of a baron rock ; and it is feen in the cultivated 
focieties of Europe, where our nature in a feries of ages 
becomes a majeilic tree. But, alas I with what diiier- 
ences of boughs and foliage ! Whatever may be thena-. 
live powers of mind in the poor but gentle Efquimaux, 
fhe can do nothing for the Ipecies but nurie a young 
one, who cannot run his race of life without inceifant 
end hard labour to keep foul and body together — here 
therefore her ftation in fociety can hardly have a name, 
becaufe there can hardly be faid that there is an aflToci- 
stion, except what is necellary for repelling the holHle 
attacks of Indians, who feem to hunt them without pro- 
vocation as the dog does the hare. In other parts of the 
•world, we fee that the confideration in which the fex is 
held, nearly follows the proportions of that aggregate of 
many different particulars, which we conhder as confti- 
tuting the cultivation of a fociety. We may perhaps 
err, and we probably do err, in our eftimation of thefe 
degrees, becaufe we are not perfectly acquainted with 
what is the real excellence of man. But as far as we can 
judge of it, I believe that my alfertion is acknowledged. 
On this authority, I might prefumo to fay, that it is m 
ChriPiian Europe that man has attained his hightH dc- 


gVee of cultivation — and it is undoubtedly here that the 
women have attained the highefl rank. 1 may even add, 
that it is in that part of Europe where the elfential and 
diftinguifhing doftrines of Chriltian morality are moft 
generally acknowledged and attended to by the laws of 
the country, that woman ads the highed part in general 
fociety. But here we mud be very careful how we 
form our notion, either of the fociety, or of the female 
rank — it is furely not from the two or three dozens who 
fill the higheft ranks in the (late. Their number is too 
fmall, and their fituation is too particular, to afford the 
proper average. Beiides, the lituation of the individu- 
als of this clafs in all countries is very much the fame — 
and in all it is very artificial — accordingly their charac- 
ter is fantaftical. Nor are we to take it from that clafs 
that is the moft numerous of all, the loweft clafs of foci- 
ety, for thefe are the labouring poor, whofe condu8; and 
occupations are fo much ditlated to them by the hard 
circumftances of their fituation, that fcarcely any thincr 
h left to their choice. The fituation of women of this 
clafs muft be nearly the fame in all nations. But thi-s 
clafs is Itill fufceptible of fome variety — and we fee it — 
and I think that even here there is a perceptible fuperi- 
ority of the female rank in thofe countries where the 
pureft Chriftianity prevails. We muft however take 
our meafures or proportions from a numerous clafs, but 
alfo a clafs in fomewhat of eafy circumftances, where 
moral fentiments call fome attention, and peribns hav^e 
fome choice in tl"U£ir conduct. And here, although I 
cannot pretend to have had many opportunities of obfer- 
vation, yet I have had fome. I can venture to fay that 
it is not in Ruffia, nor in Spain, that woman is, on the 
whole, the moft important as a member of the commu- 
nity. I would fay, that in Britain her important rights 
are more generally refpetted thati any where elfe. No 


where is a man's charaQer i'o much hurt by infidehtv — ► 
no where is it fo difficult to rub off the ftigma of baftar- 
dy, or to procure a decent reception or fociety for an 
improper connexion ; and I beheve it will readily be 
granted, that their fliare in fucceffions, their authority 
in all matters of domeftic truft, and even their opinions 
in what concerns life and manners, are fully more ref- 
peQed here than in any country. 

I have been of the opinion (and every obfervation 
that I have been able to make fmce I firft formed it con- 
firms me in it) that woman is indebted to Chrillianity 
alone for the high rank fhe holds in fociety. Look into 
the writings of antiquity — into the works of the Greek 
imd Latin poets — into the numberlefs panegyrics of the 
fex, to be found both in profe and verle-*— I can find 
little, very little indeed, where woman is treated with 
refpecl — there is no want of love, that is, of fondnefs, 
of beauty, of charms, of graces. But of w^oman as the 
equal of man, as a moral companion, travelling with 
him the road to felicity — as his advifer — his folace iri 
misfortune — as a pattern from which he may fometimes 
copy with advantage ; — of all this there is hardly a tracd. 
Woman is always mentioned as an objeCl of paffioii. 
Chaftity, modefty, fober-mindednefs, are all confider- 
ed in relation to this finglc point ; or fometimes as of 
importance in refpecl of ceconomy or domertic quiet. 
Recollect the famous fpeech of Metellus Numidicus to 
the Roman people, when, as Cenfor, be was recom- 
mending marriage.- 

" Si fine uxore poffemus Ouirites efie, omnes ea mo- 
leftia careremus. Sed quoniain ita natura tradidit, ut 
iiec cum illis commode, nee fine illis uilo modo vivi 


polTet, faluti perpetuse potius quam brevi voluptaLi' 

Aid. Gdl. NoEi. Att. L 6. 

What does OVid, the great panegyrift of the fex, fay 
for his beloved daughter, whom he had praifed for her 
attrattions in various places of his Triflia and other com- 
pofitions ? He is writing her Epitaph — ^and the only 
thing he can fay of her as a rational creature is, that fiie 

is — Domifida — not a Gadabout. Search Apuleius, 

where you will find many female charaders in ahjlraclo 
— You will find that his little Photis v>'as nearcd to his 
heart, after all his philofophy. Nay, in his pretty (tory 
of Cupid and Pfyche, which the very wife will tell yoxjt, 
is a fine lelfon of moral philofophy, and a rcprefenta- 
tion of the operations of the intellectual and moral fa- 
culties of the human forul, a ftory which gave him the 
, fined opportunity, nay, almofl made it necefiary for 
him, to infcrt whatever can ornament the female cha- 
racler ; wliat is his Pfyche but a beautiful, fond, and 
filly girl; and what are the whole truits of any acquain- 
tance with the fex? — Pleafure. But why take more 
pains in the fearch ? — Look at their immortal goddclfcs 
— is there one amon^j them whom a wife man would fc- 
lec^ for a wife or a friend ? — I grant that a Lucretia is 
praifed — a Portia, an Arria, a Zenobia — but thefc are 
individual chara6ters — not rcpreientatiyes of the fex. 
The only Grecian ladies who made a figure by intellec- 
iaal talents, were your Afpafias, Sapphos, Phryne?, 
and other nymphs of this cafi, who had emerged from 
the general uifi^yiificance of the fex, by throwing away 
what we are acculiomed to call its greatell ornament. 

I third; that the firft: piece in which woman is piBured 
as a refp]|ttable charaQer. is the oldill novel that I aoa 


acquainted with, -u'ritten by a Chriftian Bifhop, Helio- 
dorus — I mcao the Adventures of Theagenes and Cha- 
riclea. I think that the Heroine is a greater chara61er 
than you will meet with in all the annals of antiquity. 
And it is worth while to obferve what was the effeQ; of 
this painting. The poor Bifhop had been depofed, and 
even excommunicated, for do6lrinal errors, and for 
drawing fuch a pi6lure of a heathen. The magiflrates 
of Antioch, the moll voluptuous and corrupted city of 
the Eait, wrote to the Emperor, telling him that this 
book had reformed the ladies of their city, where Julian 
the Emperor and his Sophifts had formerly preached in 
vain, and they therefore prayed that the good Bifliop 
might not be deprived of his mitre. — It is true, we read 
of Hvpatia, daughter of Theon, the mathematician at 
Alexandria, w?ho was a prodigy of excellence, and 
taught philofcphy, i. e. the art of leading a good and 
happy life, with great applaufc in the famous Alexan- 
drian fchool. — But llie alfo was in the times of Chrifti- 
anity, and was the intimate friend of Syncellusand other 
Chriftian Bifliops. 

It is undoubtedly Chriftianity that has fct woman on 
her throne, making her in every refpefl: the equal of 
man, bound to the lame duties, and candidate for the 
fame happinefs. Mark how woman is defcribcd by a 
ChrHlian poet, 

" Yet when I approach 

Ker lovclinefs, fo abfolute Ihe feems. 
And in herfclf complete, ib well to knov;- 
Her own, that what fhe wills to do or fay 
Seems wZ/Ty?, virtucufcjl, difireetejl^ hejl. 

Neither her outfide, form'd fo fair, 

So much delights rae, as thofe graceful ails^ 
"Th'/Jf. thc.'ifnTtd decencies lliai daily flovr 


From all her -words and actions, mix'd with lovo 
And fweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd 
Union of mind, or in us both one fouh 

Aiid, to confummate all, 

Greatnefs of mind, and nohlenefs, their feat 
Build in her lovelieft, and create an awe 
About her, as a guard angslic plac' d." 


This is really moral painting, without any abatement 
of female charms. 

This is the natural confequence of that purity of 
heart, which is fo much inhfted on in the Chriltian mo- 
S'ality. In the inftrudions of the heathen philofophers, 
-it is either not mentioned at all, or at mod, it is recom- 
mended coldly, as a thing proper, and worthy of amind 
attentive to great things. — But, in Chriliianity, it is in- 
filled on as an indifpenfable duty, and enforced by ma- 
•ny arguments peculiar toitlelf. 

It is worthy of ohfervation, that the moft prominent 

- fuperftitions which have difhonored the Chriftianchurciv 

• es, have been the exceflive refinements which the en- 

thufiallic admiration of heroic purity has allowed the 

holy trade to introduce into the manufatlure of our ipi- 

■ 'ritual fetters. Without this enthuliafm, cold expedi- 
ency would not 4iave been able' to make the Monadic 
vow fo general, nor have given us fuch numbers of con- 
vents. Thefe were generally founded by fuch enthuh- 
ads — the rulers indeed of the church tncouraged tliis to 

■ the utmod, a.-, the beft levy for the fpivitual power — ^^but 
they could not enjoir^ fuch foundations. From the fame 
fource we may derive the chief iniiuence of auricular 
confeflion. When thefe were [irmly eit:Abli{hcd3 and 

C c 


-were venerated, almofl all the other corruptions of 
Chriflianity followed of courfe. I may almoft add, 
that though it is here that Chriilianity has fuffered the 
mofl violent attacks, it is here that the place is mofl te- 
nable. — Nothing tends fo much to knit all the ties of 
fociety as the endearing connexions of family, and 
■whatever tends to leffen our veneration for the marriage 
contraft, weakens them in the raoft effcQual manner. 
Purity of manners is its mod effeBual fupport, and 
pure thoughts are the only fources from which pure 
manners can flow. I readily grant that this veneration 
for perfonal purity was carried to an extravagant height, 
and that feveral very ridiculous fancies and cuftoms 
arofe from this. Romantic love, and chivalry^ are 
Itrong inftances of the ftrange vagaries of our imagina- 
tion, when carried along by this enthufiaftic admiration 
of female purity ; and fo unnatural and forced, that 
they could only be temporary fafhions. But I believe 
that, with all their ridicule, it would be a happy nation 
where this was the general creed and pra6lice. Nor 
can I help thinking a nation on its decline, when the 
domeftic connexions ceafe to be venerated, and the il- 
legitimate offspring of a nabob or a nobleman are re- 
ceived with eafe into good company. 

Nothing is more clear than that the defign of the II- 
luminati was to abolifh Chriilianity — and we now fee 
how effedual this would be for the corruption of the 
fair fex, a purpofe which they eagerly wiihed to gain, 
that they might corrupt the men. But if the women 
would retain the rank they now hold, they will be care- 
ful to prefervc in full force on their minds this religion, 
fo congenial to their difpofitionsj which nature has made 
alfeXionate and kind. 


And with refpeft to the men, is it not egregious folly 
to encourage any thing that can tend to blaft our fweet- 
efl enjoyments ? Shall we not do this moll efFe£lually if 
we attempt to corrupt what nature will always make us 
conhder as the highell elegance of life ? The divinity of 
the Stoics was, " Mens fana in corpore fano" — but it is 
equally true, 

" Gratior ejl pulchro veniens e corpore virtus." 

If therefore, inftead of proFeffedly tainting what is of 
itfelf beautiful, we could really work it up to 

** That fair form, which, wove in fancy's loom, 
" Floats in light vifions round the poet's head," 

and make woman a pattern of perfe8ion, we fhould 
undoubtedly add more to the heartfelt happinefs of life 
than by all the difcoveries of the lUuminati. See what 
was the effed of Theagenes and Chariclea. 

And we (liould remember that with the fate of wo- 
man that of man is indiffolubly knit. The voice of 
nature fpoke through our immortal bard, when he made 
Adam fay, 

« From thy ftats 

Mine never fhall be parted, blifs or woe." 

Should we fuffer the contagion to touch our fair part- 
ner, all is gone, and too late fliall we fay, 

" O faired of creation ! laft and befl 

Of all God's works, creature in whom excelled 

Whatever can to fig'it or thought be form'd, 

Holy^ d'lvlm, good, am'iajh, orf-jueet ! 

How art thou loft — and now to death devote ?■— 

And me with thee hafl; ruin'd ; for with the^ 

Certain my rtfolution is__ro die." 


The German Union, 

HEN fiich a fermentation has been excited in 
the public mind, it cannot be fuppofed that the formal 
.fupprellion.of the Order of the llhiminati in Bavaria, 
and in the Duchy of Wirtemberg, by the reigning Prin- 
ces, would bring all to reft again. By no means. The 
minds of men were predifpofcd for a change by the reft- 
\q{s fpirit of fpeculation in every kind of enquiry, and 
■the leaven had been carefully and {liilfully dilfeminated 
in every quarter of the empire, and even in foreign 
countries. Weiftiaupt faid, on good grounds, that " if 
the Order ftiould be difcovered and fupprcfied,he would 
reftore it with tenfold energy in a twelvemonth." F-ven 
an thofe Rates where it was formally aboliftied, nothing 
could hinder the enlifting new members, and carrying 
on all the purpofes of the Order. The Areopagitre 
might indeed be changed, and the feat of the direflion 
transferred to fome other place ; but the Minerval and 
his Mentor could meet as formerly, and a ride of a few 
miles into another Slate, would bring him to a Lodge, 
where the young would be amufed, and the more ad- 
vanced would be engaged in ferious niifchief. Weif- 


haupt never liked childrens play. He indulged Philo 
in it, bscaufe he law him taken with fuch rattles ; but 
his own projects were dark and folemn, and it was a re- 
lief to him now to be freed from that mummery. He 
foon found the bent of the perfon's mind on whom he 
had fet his talons, and he fays, that " no man ever ei- 
caped him whom he thought it worth while to fecure." 
He had already hlled the lifts with enough of the young 
and gay, and when the prefent condition of the Order 
required fly and experienced heads, he no longer court- 
ed them by play-things. He commimicated the ranks 
and the inltrudions by a letter, without anv ceremony. 
The correfpondenee with Philo at the time of the breach 
with him fhows the fuperiority of Spartacus. Philo is 
in a rage, provoked to find a pitiful profeffor difcon- 
tented with the immenfe fervices which he had received 
from a gentleman of his rank, and treating him v.'ith 
authority, and with difmgenuity. — He tells Spartacus 
what ftill greater fervices he can do the Order, and 
that he can alfo ruin it with a breath. — But in the 
inidft of this rage, he propofes a thoufand modes of re- 
concilement. The fmallelt conceffion would make him 
hug Spartacus in his arms. But Spartacus is deaf to 
all his threats, and firm as a rock. Though he is con- 
fcious of his own vile conduQ:, he abates not in the 
imalleft point his abfolute authority — requires the moft 
implicit fubmiffion, which he favs " is due, not to him, 
but to the Order, and without which the Order muft 
immediately go to ruin." — He does not even deign to 
challenge Philo to do his worft, but allows him to go 
out of the Order without one angry word. This fhows 
his confidence in the energy of that fpirit of reftleis dif- 
content, and that hankering after reform which he had 
fo fuccefsfLilly Ipread abroad. 


This had indeed arifen to an unparalleled height, un* 
expected even by the feditious diemfelves. This ap- 
peared in a remarkable manner by the reception given 
lo the infamous letters on the conilitution of the Pruffi- 
an States. 

The general opinion was, that Mirabeau was the au- 
thor of the letters themfelves, and it was perfe6lly • un- 
derllood by every perfon, that the trandation into French 
was a joint contrivance of Mirabeau and Nicholai. I 
was afllired of this by the Britifli Minifter at that Court. 
There are fome blunders in refpeft of names, which an 
inhabitant of the country could hardly be guilty of, but 
are very conhftent with the felf-conceit and precipitan- 
cy of this Frenchman. — There are feveral inftances of 
the fame kind in two pieces, which are known for cer- 
tain to be his, viz. the Chronique Jcandaleufe and the 
Hijloire Jecrctte de la Ceur de Berlin. Thefe letters 
were in every hand, and were mentioned in every con- 
verfation, even in the Pruliian dominions — and in other 
places of the Empire thev were quoted, and praiied, and 
commented on, although fome of their contents were 
nothing fhort of rebellion. 

Mirabeau had a large portion of that felf-conceit 
which diftinguifhes his countrymen. He thought him- 
felf qualified not only for any high office in adminiftra- 
tion, but even for managing the whole affairs of the new 
King. He therefore endeavoured to obain fome poll 
of honor. But he was difappointed, and, in revenge, 
did every thing in his power to make thofe in adminif- 
tration the objeBs of public ridicule and reproach. His 
licentious and profligate manners were fuch as excluded 
him from the fociety of the people of the firil claiTes, 
whom it behoved to pay fome attention to perfonal dig- 



,nity. His opinions were in the higheft degree corrupt- 
ed, and he openly profefled Atheifm. This m&de him 
peculiarly obnoxious to the King, who was determined 
to corretl the difturbances and difquiets which had ari- 
fen in the Pruffian ftates from the indifference of his 
predeceiTor iq thefe matters. Mirabeau therefore at- 
tached himfelf to a junto of writers and fcribblers, who 
had united in order to diffeminate licentious principles, 
both in refpeci of religion and of government. His wit 
and fancy were great, and he had not perhaps his equal 
for eloquent and biting fatire. He was therefore caref- 
fed by thefe writers as a moft valuable acquihtion to 
their Society. He took all this deference as his jult 
due ; and was fo confident in his powers, and fo fooliOi 
as to advife, and even to admonilh, the King. Highly 
obnoxious by fuch conduct, he was excluded from any 
chance of preferment, and was exceedingly out of hu- 
mour. In this ftate of mind he was in a fit frame for 
Illumination. Spartacus had been eyeing him for fome 
time, and at lad communicated this honor to him through 
the hitcrmedium of Mauvillon, another Frenchman, 
Lieutenant-Colonel in the fervice of the Duke of Brunf- 
wick. This perfon had been moil active during the 
formal exiftence of the Order, and had contributed 
much to its reception in the Proteftant ftates — he re- 
mained long concealed. Indeed his Illumination was 
not known till the invafion of Holland by the French 
rebels. Mauvillon then ftepped forth, avowed his 
principles, and recommended the example of the French 
to the Germans. This encouragement brought even 
Philo again on the ftage, notwithftanding his refentraent 
againit Spartacus, and his folemn declaration of having 
abjured all fiich focieties — Thefe, and a thoufand fuch 
fatts, fiiow that the feeds of licentious Cofmo-politilVn 
l^a^ tiiken deep root, aad thtit cutting down the crop 


had by no means deftroyed the baneful plant — But this 
is not all — a new method of cultivation had been iri>^ 
vented, and immediately adopted, and it was now grow- 
ing over ail Europe in another form. 

I have already taken notice of the general perverfion 
of the public mind Vs'hich co-operated with the fchifms of 
Free Mafonry in procuring a liftening ear to Spartacus 
and his afibciates. It will not be doubted but that the ma- 
chinations of the lUuminati encreafed this, even among 
■ thofe who did not enter into the Order. It was eafier 
to diminifii the refpeft for civil eftablifhm.ents in Ger- 
many than in almoft any other country. The frivolity 
of the ranks |ind court oflrices in the different confede- 
rated petty ftates, made it impolfible to combine dig- 
nity with the habits of a fcanty income. — It was ftill ea- 
fier to expofe to ridicule and reproach thofe numberlefs 
abufes which the folly and the vices of men had intro- 
duced into religion. The influence on the public mind 
which naturally attaches to the venerable office of a 
moral inftruftor, was prodigioufly diminiflied by the 
continual difputes of the Catholics and Proteftants, 
which were carried on with great heat in every little 
principality. The freedom of enquiry, which was fup- 
ported by the fiatc in Protcftant Germany, was terribly 
abufed (for what will the folly of man not abufe) and 
degenerated into a wanton licentioufnefs of thought, and 
•a rage for fpcculation and fcepticifm on every fubj eft 
whatever. The ftrugole, which was originally between 
the Catholics and the Proteltants, had changed, during 
the gradual progrefs of luxury and immorality, into a 
context between reafon and fuperftition. And in this 
conteft the denomination of fuperftition had been gra- 
dually extended to every doftrine v.hich profeffed to be 
of divinje revelation, •an4 reafon was decUredto bcj iox 


Certain, the only way in which the Deity can inform the 
human mind. 

Some refpeftable Catholics had publilhed works fil- 
led with liberal ientiments. Thefe were reprefented as 
villanous machinations to inveigle Proteftants.- On the 
other hand, fome Proteftant divines had propofed to 
imitate this liberality by making conceflions v/hich might 
enable a good Catholic to live more at eafe among the 
Proteftants, and might even accelerate an union of faiths. 
This was hooted beyond meafure, as Jefuitical, and 
big with danger. While the fceptical junto, headed by 
the editors of the Deutfche Bihliothek and the Berlin 
Monatfchrifi, were recommending everjl^ pcribrmance 
that was hoftile to the eftabliflred faith of the country, 
Leuchtfenring was equally bufy, finding Jefuits in eve- 
ry corner, and went about with all the inquietude of a 
madman, picking up anecdotes. Zimmerman, the re- 
fpeftable phyfician of Frederick King of Pruffia, gives a 
diverting account of a vifit which he had by Leuchtfen- 
ring at Hanover, all trembling with fears of Jefuits, and 
wilhing to perfuade him that his life was in danger from, 
them. Nicholai was now on the hunt, and during thii 
crufade Philo laid hands on him, being introduced to 
his acquaintance hy Leuchtfenring, who was, by this 
time, cured of his zeal for Proteitantifm, and had be- 
come a difciple of Illumin-atifm. Philo had gained his 
good opinion by the violent attack which he had pub- 
liflied on the Jefuits and Rofycrucians by the^orders of 
Spartacus. — He had not far to go in gaining over Ni- 
cholai, who was at this time making a tour through the 
Lodges. The fparks of Illumination which he perceiv- 
ed in many of them pleafed him exceedingly, and he ve- 
ry cheerfully received the precious feciet from Philo, 

D d 


This acquifition to the Order was made in January 
1782. Spartacus was delighted with it, conhdered Ni- 
cholai as a moft excellent champion, and gave him the 
name of Lucian, the great fcoiTer at all religion, as apt- 
ly expreffing his character. 

Nicholai, on his return to Berlin, publiflied many vo- 
lumes of his difcovcries. One would imagine that not 
a Jefuit had efcaped him. He mentions many flrangc 
fchifmatics, both in religion and in Mafonry — but he 
never once mentions an Illuminatus. — When they were 
firft checked, and before the difcovery of the fecret cor- 
refpondence, he defended them, and ftrongly reprobated 
the proceedings of the Eleftor of Bavaria, calling it vile 
perfecution — Nay, after the difcovery of the letters 
found in Zwack's houfe, he pcrfifted in his defence, 
vindicated the poircfTion of the abominable receipts, and 
highly extolled the charaQcr of Weifhaupt. — But when 
the difcovery of papers in the houfe of Batz informed 
the public that he himfelf had long been an Illuminatus, 
he was fadly put to it to reconcile his defence with any 
petentions to religion.* — Weifhaupt laved him from dif- 
grace, as he thought, by his publication of the fyftem of 
Illuminatifm — Nicholai then boldly faid that he knew no 
more of the Order than v;as contained in that book, that 
is, only the two firft degrees. 

'^' He impudently pretended that the papers containing the fyf- 
tem tod doiSrines of Illuminatifm^ cams to him at Berlin, from 
ai-i unknown hand. But no one believed him — it was inconfiftent 
with wliat is faid of him in the fecret correfpondence. He had 
faid the fame thing concerning the French tranflation of the Letters 
on the Conftitution of the Pruffian States, Fifty copies were 
found in his ware-houfe. He faid that they liad been fent from 
Strafburg, and that he had never fold one of tlicm. — Suppofmg 
bQth thefe aiTertions to be true, it appears that Nicholai was confi- 
dered as a very proper han^ for difperfing fuch poifon. 


But before this, Nicholai had made to himfelf a mod 
formidable enemy. The hiftory of this conteft is curi- 
ous in itfelf, and gives us a ve:ry inftru6live picture of 
the machinations of that conjuration dts p/ulofophes^ or 
gang of fcribblers who were leagued againil the peace of 
the world. The reader will therefore find it to our pur- 
pofe. On the authority of a lady in Courland, a Count- 
ti's von der Recke, Nicholai had accufed Dr. Stark of 
Darmftadt (who made fuch a figure in Free Mafonry) 
of Jefuitifm, and of having even fubmitted to the tovfure. 
Stark was a moft refllefs fpirit — had gone through every 
myftcry in Germany, llluminatifra excepted, and had 
ferreted out many of Nicholai's hidden tranfaclions. He 
was alfo an unwearied book-maker, and dealt out' thcfe 
difcoveries by degrees, keeping the eye of the public 
continually upon Nicholai. He had fufpe6led his Illu- 
mination for fome time pad, and when the fecret 
came out, by Spartacus's letter, where he boafts of his 
acquifition, calling Nicholai a moft fturdy combatant, 
and faying that he was contentijf'imiis. Stark left no (tone 
luuurned, till he difcovered that Nicholai had been ini- 
tiated in all the horrid and moft profligate myfteries of 
Illuminatifm, and that Spartacus had at the very firft 
ejitrufted him with his moft darling fecrets, and advifed 
with him on many occafions.* 

* Of this wi liave complete proof in the private correfpondence. 
Philo, fpeakjng in one of his letters of the gradual change which 
was to be produced in the minds of their pupils from Chriflianity 
to Deij&n, fays, " Nicholai informs me, that even the pious Zolli- 
Jtofer has now been convinced that it would be proper to fet up a 
deiftical church in Berlin." It is in vain that Nicholai fiys that 
his knowledge of the Order was only ofwliat Weifhaupt hiid pub- 
liilied ; for Philo fays tliat that correfled {y9izm had not been in- 
troduced into itv/henhe quitted it in 1784. But Nicholai deferves 
ro credit— he is one of the moft fcandalous examples cfthe opera- 
tion of the principhs of TVc-ilhaupt. He proaarid admilliou into 


This complete blading of his moral charaBer cowld 
not be patiently borne, and Nicholai was in his turn the 
bitter enemy of Stark, and, in the paroxyfras of his an- 
ger, publiflied every idle tale, although he was often 
obliged to contradi6l them in the next Review. In the 
courfe of this attack and defence, Dr. Stark difcovered 
the revival of the lUuminati, or at leaft a fociety which 
carried on the fame great work in a fomewhat different 

Dr. Stark had written a defence againft one of Nicho- 
lai's accufations, and wifhed to have it printed at Leip- 
zig. He therefore fent the manufcript to a friend, who 
refided there. This friend immediately propofed it to 
a moil improper perfon, Mr. Pott, who had written an 
anonymous commentary on the King of Prufiia's edift 
for the uniformity of religious worfliip in his dominions. 
This is one of the mod fhamelefs attacks on the efta- 
blifhcd faith" of the nation, and the authority and condu6t 
of the Prince, that can be imagined. Stark's friend was 
ignorant of this, and fpoke to Pott, as the partner of the 
great publiflier V/alther. They, without he(it2:ion, un- 
dertook the publifliing ; but when iix Vv^eeks had paflcd 

the Lodges of Free Mafons and Rofycrucians, merely to ad the 
difhonorable part cf a fpy, and he betrayed their fecrets as far as 
he could. In the appendix to the 7th volume of his journey, he 
declaims againft the Templar Mafons, Rofycrucians, and Jefuits, 
for their blind fubmiffion to unknown fuperiors, their fuperfti- 
tions, their prieftkoods, and their hafe principles — and yet had 
been five years in a fociety in which all thefe were carried to the 
greateft height. He remains true to the lUuminati alone, becaufe 
they had the fame objedl in view with himfelf and his atheiftical id- 
fociates. His defence of Proteftantifm is all a clieat ; and perhaps 
he may beconfidered as an enemy equally formidable with Weif- 
haupt him.felf. This is the reaioa v;hy he occupies fo many of 
thefe pages. 


over, Stark's friend found that it was not begun. Some 
exceptionable pafiages, which treated with difiepecil 
the religion ol" Realbn, were given as the caufe of delay; 
and he was told that the author had been written to about 
them, but had not yet returned ananfwer. This was af- 
terwards found to be falfe. Then a pafl'age in the pre- 
face was objecicd to, as treating roughly a lady in Cour- 
land, which Wakher could not print, becaufe he had 
connexions with that court. The author rnuft be en- 
treated to change his expre(i;ons. After another delay, 
paper was wanting. The MS. was withdrawn. Wal- 
ther now faid that he would print it immediately, and 
again got it into his hands, promifing to fend the fheets 
as they came from the prefs. Thefe not appearing for 
a long time, the agent made e^iquiry, and found that it 
was fciu to Michaclis at Halle, to be printed there. The 
agent immediately went thither, and found that it was 
printing with great alterations, another title, and a guide 
or key, in which the work was perverted and turned into 
ridicule by a Dr. Bahrdt, who refidcd in that neighbour- 
hood. An atiion of recovery and damages was imme- 
diately commenced at Leipzig, and after much conteft, 
an interdict was put on Michaclis's edition, and a proper 
edition was ordered immediately from Walther, with fe- 
curity that it fliould appear before Bahrdt's key. Yet 
when it was produced at the next fair, the bookfellers 
had been already fupplied with the i'purious edition; and 
as this was accompanied by the key, it was much more 
faleable ware, and completely fupplanted the other. 

This is furcly a flrong indance of the macliinations by 
which the Illuminati have attempted to deftroy the Li- 
berty of the Prefs, and the power they have to difcou- 
rage or fupprefs any thing that is not agreeable to the 
taile of the lilera;y junto. It was in the courfe of this 


tranfaftion that Dr. Stark's agent found people talking 
in the cofFee-houfes of Leipzig and Halle of the advan- 
tages of public libraries, and of libraries by fubfcrip- 
tion, in every town, where perforis could, at a fmall 
expence, fee what was palhng in the learned world. x\s 
he could not but acquicfce in thefe points, they who 
held this language began to talk of a general Aflbcia- 
tion, which fhould aCl in concert over all Germany, 
and make a full communication of its numerous literary 
produQions, by forming focieties for reading and in- 
IlruQ-ion, which fliould be regularly fupplied with eve- 
ry publication. Flying Iheets and pamphlets were af- 
terwards put into his hands, dating the great ufe of fuch 
an Aflbciation, and the effcft which it would fpeedily 
produce by enlightening the nation. By and by he 
learned that fuch an Aifociation did really exift, and that 
it was called the German union, for rooting out 
Superstition and Prejudices, and advanc- 
ing TRUE Christian iTY. On enquiry, however, 
lie found that this was to be a Secret Society, becaufe 
it had to combat prejudices which were fupported by 
the great of this world, and becaufe its aim v»'as to pro- 
mote that general information w^hich priefts and defpots 
dreaded above all things. This Aflbciation was acceffi- 
blc only through the reading focieties, and oaths of fe- 
crecy and fidelity were required. In Ihort, it appeared 
to be the old fong of the Illuminati. 

This difcovery was immediately annoimced to the 
public, in an anonymous publication in defence of Dr. 
Stark. It is fuppofed to be his own performance. It 
difclofes a fcene of complicated villany and folly, in 
which the Lady in Courland makes a very ftrange fi- 
gure. She appears to be a wild fanatic, deeply engag- 
ed in magic aed gholl-raiiingj and leagued with Nieh6- 


ki, Gedicke, and Biefter, againft Dr. Stark. Pie is 
very completely cleared of the fafts alledged againft 
him ; and his three male opponents appear void of all 
principle and enemies of all religion. Stark however 
•would, in Britain, be a very fingular chara61er, confi- 
dered as a clergyman. The frivolous fecrets of Mafon- 
ry have either engrolTed his whole mind, or he has la- 
boured in them as a lucrative trade, by which he took 
advantage of the folly of others. The conteft between 
Stark and the Triumvirate at Berlin engaged the public 
attention much more than we fi;iould imagine t!T5.t a 
thing of fo private a nature would do. But the charac- 
ters were very notorious j and it turned the attention of 
the public to thofe clandeftine attacks which were made 
in every quarter on the civil and religious eftablifhments. 
It was obvious to every perfon, that thefe reading foci- 
eties had all on a fudden become very numerous ; and 
the characters of thofe who patronifed them only increaf- 
ed the fufpicions which were now raifed. 

The hrfl work that fpcaks exprefsly of the German 
Union, is a very fenfible performance " On the Right 
cf Princes to dircB the Religion of their fiibj eels ^ The 
next is a curious work, a fort of narrative Dialogue on 
the CharaBers of Nicholai, Gedicke, and Biejler. It is 
chiefly occupied with the contell with Dr. Stark, but iij 
the 5th part, it treats particularly of the German Union. 

About the fame time appeared fomc farther account, 
in a book called Archives cf Fanaticifm and Hhniiinq.- 
tifm. But all thefe accounts are very flight and ur.fatis- 
fattory. The fulleft account is to be had in a work 
publifhed at Leipzig by Gofchen the bookfeller. It is 
entitled " More Notes than Text, or the Gerraan Union 
of XXI L^ a ncv^ Secret Scciciyforthe QoQd 0/ Mankind i" 


Leipzig, 1789. The publiflier fays, that it was fent 
him by an unknown hand, alid that he pubhfhed it with 
all fpeed, on account of the many mifchiefs which this 
Society (of which he had before heard feveral reports) 
ir-ight do to the world, and to the trade, if allowed to 
ro Oil workini^ in fecret. From this work, therefore, 
-we may form a notion of this redoubtable Society, and 
judge how^ far it is prafticable to prevent fuch fecret raa- 
thiiiations againft the peace and happinefs of mankind. 

There 'is another work, " Further Information con- 
cerning the German Union (Nahere Beleuchtung der 
Deutfche Union) alfo fli owing how ^ for a 7noderate price, 
one may become a Scotch Free Mafnn.'' Frankfort and 
Leipzig, 17B9. The author fays that he had all the pa- 
pers, in his hands ; whereas the author of More Notes 
than Text acknowledges the want of fome. But very 
little additional light is thrown on the fubje6l by this 
•work, and the firft is ftill the mofl inftruftive, and will 
chiefly be followed in the account which is now to be 
laid before the reader. 

The book More Notes than Text contains plans and 
letters, which the Twenty-two United Brethren have al- 
lowed to be given out, and of which the greatell part 
tvere printed, but w^ere entrulted only to allured mem- 

No. I. is the firfl plan, printed on a fmgle quarto 
page, and is.addreffed, To all the Friends of Reafon, of 
Tridh,f and of Virtue. It is pretty well written, and 
ftatcs among other things, that " becaufe a great num- 
ber of perfons are labouring, with united effort, to 
bring Reafon under the yoke, and to prevent all inftruc- h therefore neceffdrv that there be a combination 


Vv'hich fliall work in oppofition to them, fo that man- 
kind may not fink anew into irrecoverable barbarifm, 
when Reafon and Virtue fliall have been completely fub- 
dued, overpowered by the reftraints which are put on 

our opinions." " For this noble purpofe a company 

of twenty-two perfons, public inftruQors, and men in 
private llations, have united themfelves, according to a 
plan which they have had under confideration for more 
than a year and a half, and which, in their opinion, con- 
tains a method that is fair, and irrefiftable by any human 
power, for promoting the enlightening and forming o£ 
mankind, and that will gradually remove all the obfta- 
cles which fuperftition fupported by force has hitherto 
put in the way." 

This addrefs is intended for an enliiling advertifement, 
and, after a few infignificant remarks on the Alfociation, 
a rix-dahler is required along with the fubfcription of ac- 
quiefcence in the plan, as a compenfation for the expen- 
ces attending this mode of intimation and confent. 

Whoever pays the rix-dahler, and declares his wifh to 
join the Aflbciation, receives in a few days No. II, 
which is a form of the Oath of fecrecy, alfo printed on 
a fingle 4to page. Having fubfcribed this, and given a 
full defignation of himfelf, he returns it agreeably to a 
certain addrefs ; and foon after, he gets No. III. print- 
ed on a 4to flieet. This number contains what is called 
the Second Plan, to which all the fubfequent plans and 
circular letters refer. A copy therefore of this will give 
us a pretty full and juft notion of the Order, and its 
mode of operation. It is entitled. 

E e 


The Plan cj the Twenty-Two, 

And begins with this declaration. " We have iinired, 
in order to accomplifii the aim of the exalted P^ounder 
of Chrin:ianity, viz. the enlightening of mankind, and the 
dethronement of fuperftition and fanaticifm, by means 
of a fecret fraternization of all who love the work of 

*' Our firft exertion, which has already been very ex.- 
tenfive, conlilts in this, that, by means of confidential 
perfons, we allow ourfelves to be announced every where 
as a Society united for the above-mentioned purpofe ; 
and we invite and admit into brotherhood with ourfelves 
every perfon who has a fenfe of the importance of this 
matter, and wifhes to apply to us and fee our plans. 

" We labour firll of all to draw into our Affociation 
all good and learned writers. * This we imagine will be 
the eafier obtained, as they mufl derive an evident ad- 
vantage from it. Next to fuch men, we feek to gain the 
.maflers and fecretaries of the Poft-ofRces, in order to fa- 
cilitate our correfpondence. 

" Befides thefe, we receive perfons of every conditiori 
and Ration, excepting princes and their miniilers. Their 
favorites, however, may be admitted, and may be ufeful 
by their influence in behalf of Truth and X'irtue. 

" When any perfon writes to us, we fend him an oath, 
by which he mull abjure all treachery or difcovery of 
the Aflociation, till circumflances Ihall make it proper 
for us to come forward and fliow ourfelves to the world. 
\yhen he fubfcribes the oath, he receives the plan, and 
if he finds this to be what latisfies his mind as a thing 


•2 2 7 

good and honorable, he becomes our iViend only in fo 
far as he endeavours to gain over his friends and ac- 
quaintances. Thus we learn who are really our zealous 
friends, and our numbers incrcafe in a doable propor- 

" This procedure is to continue till Providence fhall 
fo far blefs our endeavours, that we acquire an a8ive 
Brother and coadjutor in every place of note, where there 
is aiiy literary profefiion ; and for this purpofe we have 
a fecretary and proper oHice in the centre of the Aflbci- 
ation, where every thing is expedited, and all reports re- 
ceived. When this happy epoch arrives, we begin our 
fecoad operation," That is to fay, 

" We intirriate to all the Brotherhood in every quar- 
ter, on a certain day, itA^^ THE German Union has 
■noio acquired a con/ijience, and we now divide the frater- 
nifed part of the nation into ten or twelve Provinces or 
Diocefes, each direfted by its Dioccfan at his office i 
and thefe are fo arranged in due fubordination, that all 
bufinefs comes into the Union-house as into the cen- 
tre of the whole. 

" Agreeably to this manner of proceeding there are 
two clalfes of the Brotherhood, the Ordinary^ and the 
Managing Brethren. The latter alone know the ajm of 
the Aifociation, and all the means for attaining it ; and 
they alone conftitute the Un ion, the n:iHie, and the 
connexion of which is not intended to be at ail conlpi- 
cuous in the world. 

" To this end the bufmefs takes a new extcrnrd form^ 
The Brethren, to wit, fpeak not of tlie Union in the pla. 
ces whore they rclidc, nor of a Soci-jiyj nor of enli>^hten- 


ing the people ; but they affemble, and acl together in 
every quarter, merely as a Literary Society, bring 
into it all the lovers of reading and of ufeful knowledge i 
and fuch in fafcl are the Ordinary Brethren, who only 
know that an Aflbciation exiils in their place of refir 
dence, for the encouragement of literary men, but by no 
means that it has any connexion with any other fimilar 
Society, and that they all conflitute one whole. But 
thefe Societies will naturally point out to the intelligent 
Brethren fuch perfons as are proper to be felefted for 
carrying forward the great work. For perfons of a fe- 
rious turn of mind are not mere loungers in fuch com- 
pany, but (how in their converfation the intereft they 
ta^e in real inftruBipn. And the call of their reading, 
"which mud not be checked in the beginning in the fmall- 
ell degree, although it may be gradually direfted to pro- 
per fubje6ls of information, will point out in the moft 
unequivocal manner their peculiar ways of thinking on 
the important fubjcfts connecled with our great objeft. 
Here, tiierefore, the a6Uve Brethren will obferve in fe- 
cret, and will feleO: thofe whom they think valuable ac- 
quifitions to the facred Union. They will invite fuch 
perfons to unite with themfelves in their endeavours to 
enlighten the reft of mankind, by calling their attention 
to profitable fubjefts of reading, and to proper books. 
^Reading Societies, therefore, are to be formed in every 
quarter, and to be furniflied with proper books. In this 
provifion attention muft be paid to two things. The. 
tafte of the public muft be complied with, that the Soci- 
ety may have any e{fe6l at all in bringing men together 
v'ho are born for (bmewhat more than jufl to look about 
them. But the general tade may, and muft alfo be care- 
fully and ftvilfully direfted to fubjccls Uvdt will enlarge 
the comprehenfion, v»'ill fortify the heart, and, by habitu- 
ating the mind to novelty, and to fuccci^ful difcovery, 


both in phvfics and in morals, will hinder the timid from 
being Itartled at do6lrines and maxims which are hngu- 
lar, or perhaps oppohte to thofe which are current in or- 
dinary iociety. Commonly a man (peaks as if he thought 
he was uttering his own fentiments, while he is only echo- 
ing the general found. Our minds are dreffed in a pre- 
vailing fafhion as much as our bodies, and with (luff as 
little congenial to fentiment, as a piece of woollen cloth 
is to the human flcin. So carelefs and indolent are men, 
even in what they call ferious converlation. Till reflec- 
tion becomes a habit, what is really a thought ftartles, 
however fimple, and, if really uncommon, itaftonifhes 
and confounds. Nothing, therefore, can fo powerfully 
tend to the improvement of the human chara6ler, as well 
managed Reading Societies. 

" When thefe have been eflabliflied in different pla- 
ces, we mud endeavour to accomplifh the following in- 
termediate plans : 1. To introduce a general literary 
Ga-zette or Review, v.'hich,^ by uniting all the learned 
Brethren, and combining with judgment and addrefs all 
their talents, and lleadily proceeding according to a 
diftinft and precife plan, may in time fupplant every 
other Gazette, a thing which its intrinfic merit and com- 
prehenlive plan Vi/ill eahly accomplifli. 2. To felecl a 
fccretary for our Society, who Ihall have it in charge to 
conjmiilion the books wiiich they fhall felecl in confor- 
mity to the great aim of the Affociation, and who fhali 
undertake to coininiilion all other books for the curious? 
in his neighbourhood.- If there be a booki'cller in the 
place, who can be gained over and fworn into the So- 
ciety, it will be proper to choofe him for this office, 
hnce, as will be made more plain afterwards, the trade 
will gradually come into the plan, and fall mio the hands 
of the Union. 


" And now, every eye can perceive the progrefTive 
moral inilueiice which the Union will acquire on the na- 
-tion. Let us only conceive what fuperltition will lofe, 
and what inftruttion mult gain by this; when, i. In eve- 
ry Reading Society the books are felefted by our Frater- 
nity. 2. When we have confidential perfons in every 
quarter, who will make it their ferious concern to foread 
fuch performances as promote the enlightening of man- 
kind, and to introduce them even into every cottage. 
3. When we have the loud voice of the public on our 
iide, and fmce we are able, either to fcout into the lliade 
all the fanatical writings which appear in the reviews that 
are commonly read, or to warn the public again ft them ; 
and, 0:1 the other hand, to bring into notice and recom- 
mend ihofe performances, alone which give light to the 
human mind. 4. When Vv'C by degrees bring the whole 
trade of bookfcUing into our hands (as the good writers 
w'ill bring all their performances into the market through 
our means) we fliall bring it about, that at laft the wri- 
ters who labour in the caufe of fuperftition and refiraint, 
will have neither a publilher nor readers. 5. When, 
laflly, by the fpreading of our Fraternity, all good 
hearts and fenfible men will adhere to us, and by our 
means will be put in a condition that enables them to 
work in filcnce upon all courts, families, and indivi_ 
duals in every quarter, and acquire an influence in the 
appointment of court-officers, llewards, fecretariesij pa- 
ii!h-pric(ls, public teachers, and private tutors. 

'- Remark, That we fnall fpeedily get the trade into 
ovir hands (which was formerly the aim of the affocia- 
tion called the GeleJirtenbuchhandlung) is conceivable 
by this, that every writer v.'ho unites with us immedi- 
ately acquires a triple number of readers, and finds 
fiiends in every place who promote the fale of his per- 


formance ; fo that his gain is increafed manifold, and 
confequently all will quit the bookfeliers, and accede to 
us by degrees. Had the above-named airociation been 
conftrucled in this manner, it would, long ere now, 
have been the only fliop in Germany." 

The book called Fuller Information^ Sec. gives a more 
particular account of the advantages held forih to the li- 
terary manufacturers of Germany by this Unionyc?- God's 
■work. The clafs of literary Brothers, or writers by 
trade, v/as divided into Mejopolites^ Aldermen, Men, 
and Cadeti. 

The Mesopolites, or Metropolitans, are to be at- 
tached to the archive-office, and to be taken care of in 
the Union-Houfe, when in ftraits throwgh age or mis- 
fortune. They will be occupied in the department of 
the fciences or arts, which this Afibciation profcfies 
principally to cherilh. They are alfo Brethren of the 
third degree of Scotch Free Mafonrv, a qualification to 
be explained afterwards. The Uriion-Houfe is a baiU;- 
ing v/hich the oftenhble Founder of the Union profelfed 

to have acquired, or fpeedily to acquire at , 

through the favor and proteclion of a German Prince, 
who is not named. 

Aldermen are perfons who hold public offices, and 
are engaged to exercife their genius and talents in the 
fciences. Thefe alfo are Brothers of the third rank of 
Scotch Free Mafonry, and out of their number are the 
Diocefans and the Diredors of the Readin^^ Societies 

The members who are defigned fimply Me\, are 
Brothers of the iecond rank of Mafonry, and have alio 
a definite fcicntiftc occupaiion alTigncd them. 


The Cadets are writers who have not yet merited 
any particular honors, but have exhibited fufficient dif- 
pofitionsand talents for different kinds of Hterary ma- 


Every member is bound to bring the produ6lions of 
his genius to market through the Union. An Alderman 
receives for an original work 80 percent, of the returns, 
and 70 for a tranfjation. The member of the next clafs 
receives 60, and the Cadet 50. As to the expence of 
printing, the Alderman pays nothing, even though the 
work fhould lie on hand unfold ; but the Ma7i and the 
Cadet muft pay one half. Three months after publica- 
tion at the fairs an account is brought in, and after this? 
yearly, when and in what manner the author fliall defire. 

In every diocefe will be eUablifned at leafl one Read- 
ing Society, of which near 800 are propofed. To each 
of thefe will a copy of an Alderman s work be fent. The 
fame favor will be fiiown to a differtation by a Man, or 
by a Cadet, provided that the manufcript is documented 
by an Alderman, or formally approved by him upon 
ferious perufal. This impriviatur, which muft be con- 
ficlered as a powerful recommendation of the v.'ork, is 
to be publifhed in the General Review or Gazette. This 
is to be a vehicle of political as well as of literary news ; 
and it is hoped that, by its intrinfic worth, and the re- 
commendation of the members, it will foon fupplant all 
others. (With refpcft to affairs of the Union, a fort of 
cypher was to be employed in it. Each Diocefan was 
there defigned by a letter, of a fize that marked his rank, 
and each member by a number. It uas to appear week- 
ly, at the very fmall price of five ahd-tvv'cnty fhillings.} 
— But let us return to the plan. 


When every thing has been eftablifiied in the manner 
fet forth above, the Union will aflume the following re- 
publican form (the reader always recolleding that this is 
not to appear to the world, and to be known only to 

the managing Brethren.} 

Here, however, there is a great blank. The above- 
named (Icetch of this Conftitution did not come to the 
hands of the perfon who furniflied the bookfeller with 
the reft of the information* But we have other docu- 
ments which give fufficient information for our purpofe. 
In the mean time, let us juft take the papers as they 

No. tV. Contains a lifl; of the German Union, which 
the fender received in manufcript. Here we find many 
names which we fhould not have expeded, and mifs 
many that were much more likely to have been partners 
in this patriotic fcheme. There are feveral hundred 
names, but very few defignations; fo that it is difficult 
to point out the individuals to the public. Some how- 
ever are defigned, and the writer obferves that names are 
found, which, when applied to fome individuals whom 
he knows, accord furprihngly with the anecdotes that 
are to be feen in the private correfpondence of the Illu- 
minati, and in the romance called Materials for the Hif- 
tory of Socratifm (Illuminatifm.*j It is but adifagrec- 

* This, by the by, is a very curious and entertaining work, and, 
had the whole affair been better known in this country, would have 
been a much better antidote againft the baneful effefts of that Af- 
fociation than any thing that I can give to the public, being writ- 
ten with much acutenefs and knowledge of the human mind, and 
agreeably diverfiSed with anecdote and ironical exhibition of the af- 
feifted wifdcan and philanthropy of the knavifh Founder and his co« 

F f 

«34 'i'-^ GERMAN UNlO>?. 

iibic rcniaik, that the lid of the Union coiuain^i; the 
names of many public teachers, both from the pulpit^ 
and from the academic chair in all its degrees ; and 
among thefe are feveral whofe cyphers fhow that they 
have been aLtive hands. Some of thefe have in their, 
writings given evident proofs of their mifconception of 
the fimple truths, whether dogmatical or hiftorical, of 
revealed religion, or of their inclination to twift and ma-, 
nufaclure thera fo as to chime in with the religion and 
morality of the Sages of France. But it is more dillref- 
fmg to meet with unequivocal names of fome who pro- 
fefs in their writings to confider thefe fubjecls as an ho- 
nelt man fhould confider them, that is, according to the 
plain and common fenfe of the words ; whereas we have 
demondrative proofs that the German Uwion had the 
iliametrically oppoiite purpofe in view. The only fe- 
male in the lift is the Grafin von der Recke, the lady 
who o;ave Dr. Stark of Darmftadt fo much trouble about 
His Tonfure. This Lady, as we have already feen, 
could not occupy herfelf with the frivolities of drefs, 
flirtation, or domeftic cares. ''• Femina front e patet^ vir 
peBore." She was not pleafed however at finding her 
name in fuch a Plebein lift, and gave oath, along with 
Biefter at the centre, that Ihe was not of the Aflociation. 
I fee that the public was not fatisfied with this denial. 
The Lady has publiflied fome more fcandal againft 
Stark hnce that time, and takes no notice of it ; and 
there have appeared many accounts of very ferious litc_ 
rary connc8.ions between thefe two perfons and the man 
who was afterwards difcovered to be the chief agent of 
the Union. 

a'4jutors. If the prefent imperfed and defultory account lliall be- 
laund to intereft the public, I doubt not but that a tranflation of 
this ixcvel, and fom£ other fanciful performances ori tlic fuhj-;i"J,-- 
will be read- with entertainment aj:ad. profit. 


"No. V. is an important document. It is a letter ad- 
'dreffed to the fworn members of the Union, reminding 
the beloved fellow-workers that " the bygone manage- 
ment of the buiinefs has been expenfive, and that the 
XXII. do not mean to make any particular charge for 
their own compenfation. But that it was necellary that 
all and each of the members fhould know precifely the 
obje6l of the Aflociation, and the way whith mature con- 
fideration had pointed out as the mod elfe&lual method 
of attaining this objeft. Then, and not till then, could 
the worthy members aft. by one plan, and confequently 
with united force. To accomplifli this purpofe, one of 
their number had compofed a I'reatife on In/i}"u&;io')i, and 
the vuans of -provioting it."* Tiiis work has ban revi- 
■fed by the whoie number, and may be confidered as the 
refult of their decpeft. reflexion.. Tl>ey fay, that 'it 
Avould be a fignal misfortune fliould this Alfociation^ this 
undertaking, fo important for thehappinefs of mankind, 
be cramped in the very beginning of its brilliant pro- 
•grefs. They therefore propofc to print this v/ork, this. 
Holy Scripture of tlieir faith and prafrice, by fubfcrip- 
•tion. (They here give a fhort account of the work.) 
And they requeft the members to encourage the work 
'by fubfcribing and by exerting more than their ufuai ac- 
tivity in procuring fubfcriptions, and iik recommending 
•the performance in the oewfpapers. Four perfons are 
named as Diocefans, who are to receive the money, 
which they beg m.ay be fpeedily advanced in order to 
purchafe paper, that the work may be rt ady for the fiiil 
-fair (Eaflcr 1788.) 

* Urler Avvv'^J..\-^v^o und dercn Bsfirdenwgs-M'lfic^, The Ot^Ij 
proper trantl.ition ofthLs word would be, clearing uj>,0" c;iiig'.h\-nir^^ 
IrJlrtiSllon feems the.fingle ■word diat comes ne.-u-ell to the pvccile 
aneanmg oLy^tifklarung^ but is not fyncnymoas. 


No. VI. is a printed paper (as is No. V.) without 
date, farther recommending the Effay on Inftru6lion', 
No. VII. is in manufcript, without date. It is addref-. 
fed to " a worthy man," intimating that the like ai^e fent 
to others, to whom will alfo fpeedily be forwarded an 
improved plan, with a requeft to cancel or deftroy the for- 
mer contained in No, III, It is added, that the Union 
now contains, among many others, more than two hun- 
dred of the moft refpeftable perfons in Germany, of eve- 
ry rank and condition, and that in the courfe of the year 
(1788) a general lift will be fent, with a requeft that the 
receiver will point out fuch as he does not think worthy 
of perfect confidence. It concludes with another re- 
commgjidation of the book on Injiruclion, on the returns 
from which firft work of the German Union the fuppoxt 
of the fecretary's office is to depend. 

Accordingly No. VIII, contains this plan, but it is 
not entitled The Improved Plan. Such a denomination 
would have called in doubt the infallibility of the XXXI, 
It is therefore called the FrogreJJive (Vorlaufig) plan, a 
title which leaves room for every fubfequent change. It 
differs from the former only in fome unimportant cir- 
camftances. Some expreffions, which had given offence 
or raifed fufpicions, are foftened or cancelled. Two 
copies of this;, which we may call A and B, are given, 
differing alfo in fome circumftances. 

" The great aim of the German Union, is the good 
of mankind, which is to be attained only by means of 
mental Illumination (Auffklarung) and the dethroning 
of fanaticifm and moral defpotifm." Neither paper has 
the expreffion which immediately followed in the former 
plan, " that this had been the aim of the exalted Founder 
of Chriftianity." The paper A refers, on the prefent fub^ 


je61, to a clifTertation printed in 1787 without a name. 
On the Freedom of the Prejs, and its Lwiitation. This. 
is one of the mod licentious pieces that has been pub- 
lifhed on the fubjeft, not only enforcing the mod un~ 
qualified liberty of publifhing every thing a man pleafcs, 
but exemplifying it in the mod fcandalous manner ; li- 
belling charatlers of ev^ery fort, and perfons of every 
condition, and this frequently in the moft abufive lan- 
guage, and expreffions fo coarfe, as diewed the author 
to be either habituated to the coarfefl company, or de- 
termined to try boldly once for all, what the public eye 
can bear. The piece goes on : " The Union confidcrs 
it as a chief part of its fecret plan of operation, to include 
the trade of book felling in their circle. By getting hold 
of this, they have it in their power to encrealc the num- 
ber of writings which promote inilruclion, and to lelTer. 
that of thofe which mar it, fince the authors of the lat- 
ter will by degrees lofe both their publilhers and their 
readers. That the prefent bookfellers may do them no 
harm, they will by degrees draw in the greater part of 
them to unite wath them." — The literary nevv'fpaper is 
here ilrongly infilled on, and, in addition to what was 
faid in the former plan, it is faid, " that they will irp. 
elude political news, as of mighty influence oil >he pub- 
lic mind, and as a fubjeB: that merits the ciofeii atten- 
tion of the moral inftructor." For whaC||bM3Tin^ion is 
that mind fufceptible of, that is fo blinded^^ the preju- 
dice created and nurfed by the habits of civil fubordina- 
tion, that it worfliips ftupidity or wickednefs under a 
coronet, and neglects talents and virtue under the bear- 
fkin cap of the boor. We muft therefore reprefent po- 
litical tranfaBions, and public occurrences, not as they 
affetl that artificial and fantaltical creature of imagina- 
tion that we lee every where around us, wheeled about 
in a chariotj but as it aft'ects a man, rational, adivcj 


.frccbornman. By thus Gripping the tranfaftion of all 
foreign circumftances, we fee it asit affefts, or ought to 
affect ourfelves. Be alTured that this new form of poli- 
■tical intelligence will be highly interefting, and that the 
Gazette of the Union will foon fuperfede all others, and, 
of itfelf, will defray all our neceifary expences." 

This is followed by fome allufions to a fecret corref- 
pondence that is quick, unfufceptible of all difcovery or 
treachery, and attended with no expence, by which the 
bufinefs of die fecret plan (different from either of thofe 
communicated to the fivorn Brethren at large) is carried 
on, and which puts the nnembers in a condition to learn 
every thing that goes on in the world, for or againft their 
caufe, and aifo teaches them to know mankind, to gain 
an influence over all, and enables them, eitedually to 
promote their beft fubjecls into all offices. Sec. and fi- 
nally, from which every member, whether fiatefmen, 
merchant, or writer, can draw his own advantages. Some 
pafiages here and in another place, make me imagine 
that the Union hoped to get the command of the polt- 
offices, by having their Brethren in the direPiion. 

It is then faid, that " it is fuppofed tha^ the levy will 
be fufficiently numerous in the fpring of the enfuing year. 
Whe^i thidA|K place, a general fynod will be held, in 
■which t^i^tm^ of fecret operations will be finally adjuft- 
ed, and accommodated to local circumRances, fo as to 
be digefted into^ law that will need no farther alteration. 
A proper perfon will fet off from this fynod, with full 
powers, to vifit every quarter where there arc fworn 
Brethren, and he will there eftablifli a Lodge after the 
ancient limple ritual, and will communicate verbally ti>e 
plan of fecret operation, a.nd certain inftru8ions, Thefe 
Lodges will then eftablilh a managmg fund or box. 


Each Lodge will alfo eilablifli a Reading Society, under 
tlie management of a bookfcllcr refiding in the place, or 
of" fome peiTon acquainted with the mechanical conduct 
of things of this nature. There mud alfo be a colletlor' 
and agent (Expediieur) fo that in a moment the Union 
will have its offices or coviptoirs in every quarter, through 
which it carries oijUhe trade of bookfelling,and guides the 
ebb and How of its correfpondence. And thus the wliole 
machine will be fet in motion, and its aclivi-ty is all di-; 
reBed from the centre." 

I remark, that here w-e have not that exclufion of 
Princes and minifters that was in the former plan ; (hey 
are not even mentioned. The exclusion in cxprefs 
terms could not but furprife people, and appear forae- 
w'hat fufuicicus. 


No. IX. is a printed circular letter to the fworn Bre- 
thren, and is fubfcribed " by their truly afTociated Bro- 
ther Barthels, Oberamtfman (t^.rft bailiff) for the King of 
PruiLa, at Halle on the Saai." 

In this letter the Brethern are informed that " the 
XXII. were wont to meet forr.etimes at Kaile, and' 
fometimes at Berlin. Biu, unavoidable circumllances 
oblige them not only to remain concealtdior fome time, 
but even to give up their relation to the Union, and 
withdraw thcmfelves from any fliare in its proceedings. 
Thefe circumllances arc but temporary, and will be 
completely explained in due time. They trufl. hov. c- 
vcr, that this neceffary (lep on their part will not abate 
the zeal andatlivity of men of noble minds, engaged ii¥ 
tjie caufe by the conviftion of their own hearts. They 
have therefore communicated to their wcvthy Brother 
Bahthels all neceffary informationsj and have uiuuii- 


rnQuily conferred on him the direflion of the fccretary's- 
office, and have provided him with every document and 
mean of carrying on the correipondence. He has de^ 
voted himfelf to the honorable office, giving up all other 
employments. They obfcrve that by this change in the 
manner of proceeding, the Affiociation is freed from an 
objetlion made with juftice to all oth^ fecret focieties? 
namely, that the members fubjetl themfelves to blind 
and unqualified fubmiffion to unknown iuperiors." — - 
" The Society is now in the hands of its own avowed 
members. Every thing will foon be arranged according 
to a con ilitu lion purely republican ; a Diocefan will 
be chofen, and will diretl in every province, and report 
to the centre every fecond month, and in{lru£lions and 
other informations will ifme in like manner from the 

" If this plan fhall be approved of by the Affociafed, 
H. Barthels will tranfmit to all the Diocefes general lifts 
of the Union, and the Plan of Secret Operation, 
the refult of deep meditation of the XX 11. and admira- 
bly calculated for carrying on with irrefiftible effi^B their 
noble and patriotic plan. To flop all cabal, and put an 
citd to all flander and fufpicion, H. Barthels thinks it 
proper that the Union Ihall Sep forward, and declare it- 
feif to the world, and openly name fome of its moft ref- 
pectable members. The public muft however be in- 
formed onlv with refpetl to the exterior of the Society, 
for which purpofe he had written a flieet to be annexed 
as an appendix to the work, On Instruction, de- 
claring that to be the work of the Society, and a fuffici- 
ent indication of its moil honorable aim. He defires 
luch members as choofe to ffiare the honor with him, to 
fend him their names and proper defignations, that they 
may appear in that appendix. And, laftly, he requefts 


tKem to inftruB: him, and co-operate with him, accord- 
ing to the concerted rules of the Union, in promoting 
the caufe of God and the happinefs of mankind." 

The Appendix now alluded to makes No. X. of the 
packet fent to the Bookfeller Gofchen of Leipzig, and 
is dated December 1788. It is alfo found in the book 
On Inftru^ion, Sec. printed at Leipzig in 1789, by 
■Walther. Here, however, the Appendix is dated Ja- 
nuary 1789. This edition agrees in the main with that 
in the book from which I have made fuch copious ex-" 
trafts, but differs in fome particulars that are not un- 
worthy of remark. 

In the packet it is written, " The underjigned, as 
Member and Agent of the German Union., in order to 
reftify feveral miftakes and injurious flanders and accu- 
sations, thinks it neceffary that the public itfelf fhould 
judge of their objeft and condu8;." — Towards the end 
it is faid, " and all who have any doubts may apply to 
thole named below, and are invited to write to them.'* 
No names however are lubjoined.— -In the appendix to 
the book it is only faid, " the agent of the German U- 
nion, Sec and "perfons who wifh to be better informed 
inay write to the agent, under the addref?. To the Ger- 
man Union — under cover to the fliop of Walther, book- 
feller in Leipzig." — Here too there are no names, and 
it does not appear that any perfon has chofen to come 
from behind the curtain.* 

* is an eminent bookfeller, and carries on the bufmers 
of publifhing to a great extent, both at Leipzig and other places. 
He was the publiflier of the moll virulent attacks on the King of 
' Pruffia's Edid on Religion, and was brought into much troubls; 
about the Commentary by Pott wiiich is mentioned above. He 
alfo publilhes many of the fceptical and licentious writings which 
have {q much diHurbed the peace cf Germauy. 

G g 


There has already been fo much faid about Enlight- 
ening, that the reader mud be almoft tired of it. He is 
affured in this performance that the Illumination propof- 
ed by the Union is not that of the Wolfenbuttle Frag- 
ments, nor that of Horus, nor that of Bahrdt. The 
■Frcgments and Horus are books which aim direflly, and 
without any concealment, to deftroy the authority of 
eur Scriptures, either as^ hiftorical narrations or as reve- 
lations of the intentions of providence and of the future 
profpefts of man. The Theological writings o^ Bahrdt 
are grofs perverfions, both of the fenfe of the text, and 
of the moral inftru8;ions contained in it, and are per- 
haps the moft exceptionable performances on the fubje6i; 
They are ftigmatifed as abfurd, and coarfe, and indecent, 
even by the writers on the fame fide ; yet the work re- 
commended fo often, as containing the elements of that 
Illumination which the world has to expeft from the 
Union, not only coincides in its general principles with 
thefe performances, but is almoft an abftraft of fome of 
them, particularly of his Popular Religion, his Para- 
phrafe on the Sermon on the Mount, and his Morality 
OF Religion. We have alfo feen that the book on 
the Liberty of the Prefs is quoted and recommended as 
an elementary book. Nay, both the work on Inilru£li- 
on and that on the Liberty of the Prefs are now known 
to be Bahrdt's. 

But thefe principles, exceptionable as they may be,, 
are probably not the worft of the inftitution. We fee 
that the outjide alone of the Union is to be fhewn to the 
public. Barthels felicitates the public that there is no 
fubordination and blind obedience to unknown fuperi- 
ors ; yet, in the fame paragraph, he tells us that there 
is a fecret plan of operations, that is known only to the 
Centre, and the Confidential Brethroi. The authot o^ 


WuUer Information fays that he has this plan, and would 
print it, were he not reftrained by a promife.* He 
gives us enough however to fliow us that the higher myf- 
teries of the Union arc precifely the fame with thofe of 
the lUuminati. Chriftianity is exprefsly faid to have 
been a Myftical Alfociation, and its founder the Grand 
Mafter of a Lodge. The Apoilles, Peter, James,' 
John, and Andrew, were the Elect, and Brethren of 
the Third Degree, and initiated into all the myfleries. 
The remaining Apoftles were only of the Second De- 
gree ; and the Seventy-Two were of the Firft Degree.' 
•Into this degree ordinary Chriftians may be admitted, 
and prepared for further advancement. The great myf- 

tery is, that J C was a Naturalist, and 

taught the doClrine of a Supreme Mind, the Spe8ator,' 
but not the Governor of the World, pretty nearly in the 
fenfe of the Stoics. The Initiated Brethren were to be 
inftru6led by reading proper books. Thofe particularly 
recommended are Bafedozo's PraBical Knowledge^ Eber- 
hard's Apology for Socrates, Bahrdt's Apology for Rea- 
fon, SteinbaYdVs Syftem of Moral Education, Mein^r's 
Ancient Mjfieries, Bahrdt's Letters on the Bible, and 

Bahrdt's Completion of the Plan and Aim of J 

C . Thefe books are of the moft Antichriftian cha- 

rader, and fome of them aim at fhaking off all moral 
obligation whatever. 

Along with -thefe religious do6lrines, are inculcated 
the moll dangerous maxims of civil conduct. The del- 
potifm that is aimed at over the minds of men, and the 
machinations and intrigues for obtaining poffeflion of 
places of truft and influence, are equally alarming,, but- 
being perfedly fimilar to thofe of the Illumiiiati, it is 
needlefs to mention them. 

* This I find to be falfe, and the book a common joI>. 


The chief intelligence that we get from this author is 
that the Centre of the Union is atahoufein the neigh- 
bourhood of Halle. It is a fort of tavern, in a vineyard 
immediately without the city. This was bought by 
Doctor Karl Friederich Bahrdt, and fitted up 
for the amufement of the Univerfity Students, He 
calls itBAHRDT's RuHE (Bahrdt's Repofe.) The au- 
thor thinks that this mud have been the wc«-k of the Af- 
fociation, becaufe Bahrdt had not a farthing, and was 
totally unable for fuch an undertakmg. He may how- 
ever have been the contriver of the inftitution. He has 
never affirmed or denied this in explicit terms ; nor has 
he ever faid who are the XXII coadjutors, Wucherer, 
an eminent bookfeller at Vienna, feems to have been 
one of the moil aftive hands, and in one year admitted 
near 200 members, among v/hom is his own fhoemaker. 
He has publiflied fome of the moll profligate pamphlets 
which have yet appeared in Germany. 

The publication of the lift of members alarmed the 
nation ; perfons were aftonifhed to find themfelves in 
every quarter in the midft of villains who were plotting 
againft the peace and happinefs of the country, and de- 
flroying every fentiment of religion, morality, or loyalty. 
Many perfons publilhed in the newfpapers and literary 
journals affirmations and proofs of the falfe infertion of 
their names. Some acknowledged that curiofity had 
made them enter the Alfociation, and even continue 
their correfpondence with the Centre, in order to learn 
fomething of what the Fraternity had in view, but de- 
clared that they had never taken any part in its proceed- 
ings. But, at the fame time, it is certain that many 
Reading Societies had been fct up, during thefe tranf. 
aflions, in every quarter of Germany, and that the of- 
tenfible managers were in general of very iufpicious cha- 


rasters, both as to morals and loyalty. The Union had 
aftually fct up a prefs of their own at Calbe, in the 
neighbourhood of Halberftadt. Every day there ap- 
peared ftronger proofs of a combination of the Journal- 
ilts, Reviewers, and even of the publifliers and book- 
fellers, to fupprefs the writings which appeared in de- 
fence of the civil and ecclelialtical conftitutions of the 
States of Germany. The extenhve literary manufa6liire 
of Germany is carried on in fuch a manner that it is im- 
poffible for any thing lefs than the joint operation of the 
whole federated powers to prevent this. The fpirit of 
free thinking and innovating in religious matters had 
been remarkably prevalent in the dominions of the King 
of Pruflia, having been much encouraged by the indif- 
ference of the late King. One of the vileft things pub^ 
lifhed on this occafion was an abominable farce, called 
the Religion EdiB:. This was traced to Bahrdt's Ruhe, 
and the Dottor was arrefled, and all his papers feized 
and ranfacked. The civil Magiflrate was glad of an 
opportunity of expifcating the German Union^ which 
common fame had alfo traced hither. The correfpon- 
dence was accordingly examined, and many difcoverici 
were made, which there was no occafion to communi- 
cate to the public, and the profecution of the bufinef'j 
of the Union was by this means Hopped. But the pcr- 
fons in high office at Berlin agree in faying that the Af 
fociation of writers and other turbulent perfons in Ger- 
many has been but very faintly hit by this blow, and is 
almoll as aftive as ever. 

The German Union appears a mean and precipitate 
Affociation. The Centre, the Archives, and the Secre- 
tary are contemptible. All the Archives that wer« 
found were the plans and lifts of the members and a par- 
cel of letters of correfpondence. The correlpondcnce 


?ind other bufinefs was managed by an old man in fomc 
•very inferior office or judicatory, who lived at bed and 
board in Bahrdt's houfe for about fix fhillings a week, 
liaving a cheft of papers and a writing defic in the corner 
of the common room of the houfe. 

Bahrdt gives a long narration of his concern in the 
siiair, but we can put litde confidence in what he fays ; 
yet as we have no better authority, I fhall give a very 
ihoYt abltratl of it as follows. 

He faid, thai he learned Cofmo-poiitical Free Mafon- 
iry in England, when he was there getting pupils for his 
^academy — but neglefted it on his return to Germany. 
Some time after his fettlement he was roufed by a viiit 
from a ftranger who pafled for an Englifiiman ; but 
whom he afterwards found to be a Dutch officer — (he 
:gives a defcription which bears confiderable refemblance 
to the Prince or General Salms who gave fo much dif- 
turbance to the States-General) — He was iViW more ex- 
cited by an anonymous letter giving him an account of 
a Society which was empioyed in the inftrutlion of man- 
l^ind, and a plan of their mode of operations, nearly the 
fame with that of No. 111. — He then fet up a Lodge of 
Free Mafonry on Cofmo-political principles, as a pre- 
paration for engaging in this great plan — he was flopped 
by the National Lodge, becaufe he had no patent from 
it. — This obliged him to work in fecret. — He met with 
a gentleman in a cofFce-houfe, who entreated him to go 
on, and promifed him great affifiance — this he got from 
lime to time, as he ftood mod in need of it, and he now 
found that he was working in concert with many pow- 
erful though unknown friends, each in his own circle. 
The plan of operation of the XXII was gradually un- 
folded to him, and he got folemn promifes of bemg 


made acquainted widi his colleagues — But he now found,, 
that after he had fo effentially ferved their noble caufe, 
he \va.s dropped by them in the hour of danger, and thus 
was made the facrifice for the public good.. The lafi 
packet which he received was a req^ueft from a Friend to 
the Union to print two performances fen t him, with a 
promife of lOO dahlers for his trouble. — Thefe were the 
abominable farce called the Religion £di^, and fbme 
DilTertations on that Royal Proclamation. 

He then gives an account of his fyftem of Free Ma- 
fonry, not very different from Weifliaupt's Mafonic 
Chrillianity — and concludes with the following abliraO: 
of the advantages of the Union — Advancement of Sci- 
ence — A general intereft and concern for Arts' and 
Learning — Excitement of Talents — Check of Scribbling? 
— Good Education — Liberty — Equality — Hafpitality 
— Delivery of many from Misfortunes — Union of the 
Learned — and at lad — perhaps — Amen.. 

What the meaning of this enigmatical conclafion is we 
ean only guefs — and our eonjeftmes cannot be very fa- 

The narration, of which this is a very fhort index, is- 
abundantly entertaining; but the opinion' of the mo ft 
intelligent is, that it is in a great meafure fiBitious, and 
that the contrivance of the Union is moitly his own- 
Although it could not be legally provad that he was the 
author of the farce, every perfon in court was convinced 
that he was, and indeed it is perfe6lly in Bahrdt's verj? 
lingular manner. — This invalidates the whqle of his Ilo^ 
ry — and he afteiv/ards acknowledges the farce (at leait 
by implication} in feveral writing^s, and boalis ol iu 


For thefe reafons I have omitted the narration in de- 
tail. Some information, however, which I have re- 
ceived fince, feems to confirm his account, while it di- 
ininifhes its importance. I now find that the book call- 
ed Fuller Information is the performance of a clergyman 
■called Schiitz, of the lowed clafs, and by no means of 
an eminent charafler — Another performance in the form 
■of a dialogue between X, Y, and Z, giving nearly the 
fame account, is by Pott, the dear friend of Bahrdt 
and of his Union, and author of the Commentary on 
ihe Edift. Schutz got his materials from one Roper, 
an expelled ftudent of debauched morals, who fubfifted 
by copying and vending filthy raanufcripts. Bahrdt 
■fays, that he found him naked and iiarving, and, out 
of pity, took him into his houfe, and employed him as 
an araanuenfis. Roper ftole the papers at various times, 
taking them with him to Leipzig, whither he went on 
pretence of ficknefs. At lafl Schutz and he went to 
Berlin together, and gave the information on which 
Bahrdt was put in prifon. In fliort they all appear to 
have been equally profligates and traitors to each other, 
and exhibit a dreadful, but I hope a ufeful picture of 
the influence of this Illumination which fo wonderfully 
fafcinates Germany. 

This is all the direft information that I can pick up 
of the founder and the proceedings of the German Uni- 
on. The projetl is coarfe, and palpably mean, aiming 
at the dahlers of dntry -money and of annual contribution, 
and at the publication and profitable fale of Dr. Bahrdt's 
books. . This circumftance gives it ftrong features of 
"its parentage. — Philo fpeaks of Bahrdt in his Final De- 
claration in terras of contempt and abhorrence. There 
is nothing ingenious, nothing new, nothing enticing, in 
the plans ; and the immediate purpofe of indulging the 


licentious tafte of the public comes fo frequently before 
the eye, that it bears all the marks of that groffnefs of 
mind, precipitancy, and impatient overfight that are to 
be found in all the voluminous writings of Dr. Bahrdt. — ■ 
Many in Germany, however, afcribe the Union to 
Weifliaupt, and fay that it is the Illuminati w^orking in 
another form. There is no denying that the principles, 
and even the manner of proceeding, are the fame in 
every elfential circumftance. Many paragraphs of the 
declamations circulated through Germany with the plans, 
are tranfcribed verbatim from Weifliaupt's Corr^^cd 
Syjlem of Illuminatifm. Much of the work On Injlruc-- 
tio7i, and the Means for promoting ii, is very nearly a 
copy of the fame work, blended with flovenly extracts 
from fome of his own writings — There is the fame feries 
of delufions from the beginning, as in Illuminatifm— -- 
Free Mafonry and Chriftianity are compounded — firll 
tvith marks of refpe6l — then Chrifliianity is twifted to 
a purpole foreign from it, but the fame with that aimed 
at by Weifliaupt — then it is thrown away altogether, and 
Natural Religion and Atheifm fubftituted for it — For 
no perfon will have a moment's hefitation in faying, that 
this is the creed of the author of the books On Inflruc- 
tion and On the Liberty of the Prefs. Nor can he doubt 
that the political principles are equally anarchical with 
thofe of the Illuminati. — The endeavours alfo to get 
pofleffion of public offices, of places of education — • 
of the public mind, by the Reading Societies, and by 
publications — are fo many tranfcripts from the Illumi- 
Tiati.—- Add to this, that Dr. Bahrdt was an lUuminatus — ■ 
and wrote the Better than Horus, at the command of 
Weifliaupt. — Nay, it is well known that Weifliaupt was 
twice or thrice at Eahrdt's Ruhe during thofe tranfa6ti- 
oi;is. and that he zealoufly promoted the formation of 

'h h - 


Reading Societies in feveral places. — But I am rathert 
of the opinion that Weilhaupt made thofe vifits in order 
to keep Dr. Bahrdt within fome bounds of decency, and 
to hinder him from hurting the caufe by his precipi- 
tancy, when fpurred on by the want of money. Weif- 
haupt could not work in fuch an unfliilful manner. But 
he would be very glad of fuch help as this coarfe tool 
could give him — and Bahrdt gave great help ; for, when 
he w^as imprifoned and his papers feized, his Archives, as 
he called them, fliewed that there were many Reading 
Societies which his projed had drawn together. The 
Pruffian States had above thirty, and thenumber of read- 
ers was aftonifhingly great — and it was found, diat the 
pernicious books had really found their way into every 
hut. Bahrdt, by defcending a (lory lower than Weif- 
hauptj has gjeatly increafed the number of his pupils. 

But, although I cannot confider the German Union 
a« a formal revival of the Order under another name, I 
mull hold thofe United^ and the members of thofe Read- 
ing Societies, as Illuminati and Mincrvals. I mufl 
even confider the Union as a part of Spartacus's work. 
The plans of Weifliaupt were partly carried into effeft in 
their different branches — they were pointed out, and 
the way to carry them on are diftinftly defcribed in the 
private correfpondence of the Order — It required little 
genius to attempt them in imitation. Bahrdt made the 
attempt, and in part fuccceded. Weilhaupt's hopes 
were well founded — The leaven was not only diftributed, 
but the management of the fermentation was now un- 
derftood, and it went on apace. 

It is to be remarked, that nothing was found among 
Bahrdt's papers to fupport the ftory he writes in his di- 
ary—no fuch correfpondcnces — but enouoh for deted- 


jng many of thcfe focieties. Many others however were 
found unconneQed with Bahrdt's Ruhe, not of better 
charafter, either as to Morality or Loyalty, and fome 
of them confiderable and -expenfivc; and many proofs 
were found of a combination to force the public to a 
certain way of thinking, by the management of the Re- 
views and Journa-Is. The extenfivc dealing? of Nicho- 
lai of Berlin gave liim great weight in the book-making 
trade, which in Germany furpafles all our conceptions. 
The catalogues of n€w writings in fheets, which are 
printed twice a-year for each of the fairs of Leipzig and 
Frankfort, would aftonifli a Britilh reader by the num- 
ber. The bookfellers meet there, and in one glance fee 
the whole republic of literature, and, like Roman fena- 
tors, decide the fentiments of diftant provinces. By 
thus feeing the whole together, their fpeculations are 
national, and they really have it in their power to give 
what turn they pleafe to the literature and to the fenti- 
ments of Germany. Still however they muft be induced 
by motives. The motive of a merchant is gain, and 
every objeft appears m his eye fomething by which mo- 
ney may be made. Therefore in a luxurious and volup- 
tuous nation, licentious and free-thinking books will 
abound. The writers fuggeft, and the bookfellers tbink 
-how the thing will tickle. Yet it mud not be inferred 
from the prevalence of fuch books, that fuoh is the com- 
mon fenfe of mankind, and that the writings are not the 
corrupters, but the corrtipted, or that they are what they 
ought to be, becaufe they pleafe the public. We need 
only pufh the matter to an extremity, and its caufe ap- 
pears plain. Filthy prints will always create a greater 
crowd before the fiiop window than the Iineft perform- 
ances of Woollet. Licentious books will be read with 
a fluttering eagernefs, as long as they are not univerfally 
permitted ; and pitiable will be tl>c (late of the natioa 


when their number makes them familiar and no longer 

But although it mufl: be confefTed that great encou^ 
ragem.ent was given to the fceptical, infidel, and licen- 
tious writings in Germany, we fee that it was dill necef- 
fary to pra6life fedu6lion. The religioniji was made to 
expeO; fome engaging exhibition of his faith. The Ci^ 
tizen muft be told that his civil connexions are refpeBed, 
and will be improved ; and all are told that good man- 
ners or virtue is to be fupported. Man is fuppofed to 
be, in very effential circumftances, what he wilhes to be, 
and feels he ought to be ; and he is corrupted by means 
of falfehood and trick. The principles by which he is 
wheedled into wickednefs in the firfl inftance, are there- 
fore fuch as are really addrefTed to the general fentiments 
of mankind : thefe therefore fhould be coniidered as 
more expreffive of the public mind than thofe which he 
afterwards adopts, after this artificial education. There- 
fore Virtue, Patriotifm, Loyalty, Veneration for true 
and undefiled Religion, are really acknowledged by thofe 
corrupters to be the prevailing fentiments ; and they are 
good if this prevalence is to be the tell of worth. The 
mind that is otherwife affetled by them, and hypocriti- 
cally ufes them in order to get hold of the uninitiated, 
that he may in time be made to cherifii the contrary fen- 
timents, cannot be a good mind, notwithftanding any pre- 
tentions it may make to the love of mankind. 

No man, not Weifiiaupt himfelf, has made flronger 
profeffions of benevolence, of regard for the happinefs of 
mankind, and of every thing that is amiable, than Dr. 
3ahrdt. It may not be ufelefs to enquire what effecl 
fuch principles have had on his ov.'n mind, and thofe of 
his chief coadjutors. Deceit of every kind is diihonor- 


able ; and the deceit that is profeffedly employed in the 
proceedings of the Union is no exception. No pious 
fraud whatever mull be ufed, and pure religion muft be 
ptefented to the view without all dirguifc. 

" The more fair Virtue's feen, the more fhe charms. 
*' Safe, plain, and eafy, are her artlefs ways. 
*' With face ered:, her eyes look ftrait before ; 
" For dauntlefs is her march, hei ftep fecure. 

" Not fo pale Fraud — now here (he turns, now there, 
*< Still feeking darker fhades, fecure in none, 
*' Looks often back, and wheeling round and round, 
*' Sinks headlong in the danger fhe would fhun.'* 

The mean motive of the Proteftant Sceptic is as in- 
Gonfiftent with our notions of honefty as with our noti- 
ons of honor ; and our fufpicions are juflly raifed of the 
charafter of Dr. Bahrdt and his affociates, even although 
we do not fuppofe that their aim is the total aboliffiing 
of religion. With propriety therefore may we make 
fome enquiry about their lives and conduct. Fortu- 
nately this is eafy in the prefent inftance. A man that 
has turned every eye upon himfelf can hardly efcape ob- 
fervation. But it is not fo eafy to get fair information. 
The peculiar fituation of Dr. Bahrdt, and the caufe be- 
tween him and the public, are of all others the moft pro- 
duflive of miflake, mifreprefentation, obloquy, and in. 
juftice. But even here we are fortunate. Many re- 
markable parts of his life are eftabliflied by the moft re- 
fpeclable teflimony, or by judicial evidences ; and, to 
make all fure, he has written his own life. I (hall infert 
nothing here that is not made out by the two lail modes 
of proof, refting nothing on the hrft, however refpeCta- 
ble the evidence may be. But I muft obferve, that his 
life was alfo written by his dear friend Pott, the partner 


of Wakher the bookfeller. The ftory of this publicati- 
on is curious, and it is inllru6live, 

■ Bahrdt was in prifon,and in great poverty. He intend- 
ed to v/rite his own life, to be printed by Wakher, under 
a fiQitious name, and in this work he intended to in- 
dulge his fpleen and his diflike of all thofe who had of- 
fended him, and in particular all priefts, and rulers, 
and judges, who had given him fo much trouble. He 
knew that the ftrange, and many of them fcandalous 
anecdotes, with which he had fo liberally interlarded 
many of his former publications, would fet curiofity on 
tiptoe, and would procure a rapid fale as foon as the 
public Ihould guefs that it was his own performance, by 
tbe fmgular but fignificant name which the pretended 
author would affume. He had almoft agreed with Wal- 
ther for a thoufand dahlers (about L. 200) when he was 
imprifoned for being the author of the farce fo often 
named, and of the Commentary on the Religion Edi^, 
written by Pott, and for the proceedings of the German 
Union. He was refufed the ufe of pen and ink. He 
then applied to Pott, and found means to correfpond 
with him, and to give him part of his life already writ- 
ten, and materials for the reft, confiding of ftories, and 
anecdotes, and correfpondence. Pott fent him feveral 
Iheets, with which he was fo pleafcd, that they con- 
cluded a bargain. Bahrdt fays, that Pott was to have 
400 copies, and that the reft was to go to the mainte- 
nance of Bahrdt and his family, confifting of his wife, 
daughter, a Chriftina and her children who lived with 
them, &c. Pott gives a different account, and the 
truth was different from both, but of little confequence 
to us. Bahrdt's papers had been feized, and fearched 
for evidence of his tranfaftions, but the ftrifteft atten- 
iion w^s paid to tbx precile points of the charge, and no 


paper was abftra£led which did not relate to thefe. All 
others were kept in a fealed room. Pott procured the 
removal of the feals, and got pofTeffion of them. Bahrdt 
fays, that his wife and daughter came to him in prifon, 
almoft ftarving, and told him that now that the room 
was opened, Pott had made an offer to write for their 
fupport, if he had the ufc of thefe papers— that this was 
the conclufion of the bargain, and that Pott took away 
all the papers. N. B, Pott was the aflbciate of Wal- 
ther, who had great confidence in him ( Anecdotcnbuch 
Jur meinen lieben Amtpjrilder, p. 400 J and had con- 
duced the bufmefs of Stark's book, as has been alrea- 
dy mentioned. No man was better known to Bahrdt, 
for they had long afted together as chief hands in the 
Union. He would therefore write the life of its foun- 
der con amore, and it might be expeQed to be a rare 
and tickling performance. And indeed it was. The 
firft part of it only was pubUflied at this time; and the 
narration reaches from the birth of the hero till his leav- 
ing Leipzig in 1768. The attention is kept fully awake, 
but the emotioris which fucceflively occupy the mind of 
the reader, are nothing but ftrong degrees of averfion, 
difguft, and horror. The figure fet up to- view is a 
monfter, clever indeed,, and capable of great things j 
but lod to truth, to virtue, and even to the afFeftation 
of common decency — In fliort, a fbamelefs profligate. — ■ 
Poor Bahrdt was aftonifhed — dared — but, having his 
wits about him, fav/ that this life would fell, and would 
alfo fell another. — "Without lofsof time, he faid that he 
would hold Pott to his bargain — but he reckoned without 
his hoft. " No, no," faid. Pott, " You are not the man 
I took you for--your correfpondence was put into my 
hands— I faw that you had deceived me, and it was my 
duty, as a man zuho loves truth above all things^ to hinder 
you from deceiving the world. I have not wcittea Ui^ 


book you defired me. I did not work for you, but for" 
niiyfelf — therefore you get not a grofchen." " Why, 
Sir,'^ faid Bahrdt " we both know that this v/ont do. 
Yoa and I have already tried it. You received Stark's 
inanufcript, to be printed by Walther — Walther and 

vou fent it hither to Michaelis, that 1 might fee it du- 

^ <-' . 

ring the printing. I wrote an • illuftration and a key, 
■Nvhich made the fellow very ridiculous, and they''^ 
were printed together, with one title page. You know' , 
that we were call in court. Walther was obliged to' 
print the v.'ork as Stark firft ordered, and we loft all our 
labour. So fnall you now, for I will commence an ac- 
tion this inftant, and let me fee with Vv'hat face you will 
defend yourfelf, within a few weeks of your laft appear- 
ance in court." Pott faid, '" You may try this. My 
work is already fold, and difperfed over all Germany 
— and I have no objeQion to begin yours to-morrow — 
believe me, it will fell." Bahrdt pondered — and rcfol- 
ved to write one himfelf. 

This is another fpecimen of the Union, 

Dr. Carl Friederich Bahrdt was born in 1741. 
His father was then a parifh-minifter, and afterwards- 
Profeflbr of Theology at Leipzig, where he died in 1775. 
The youth, when at College, enlifted in the Pruffian fcr-^ 
vice as a huflar, but was bought off by his father. He 
was M. A. in 1761. He became catechift in his father's 
church, was a popular preacher, and publifhed fermons 
in 1765, and fome controverfial writings, which did him 
honor — But he then began to indulge in conviviality, 
and in anonymous bafquinades, uncommonly bitter and 
offenfivc. No perfon was fafe — ProfefTors — -Magif-' 
trates — Clergymen — had his chief notice — alfo, ftudent^' 
—and even comrade^ and friends, (Bahrdt faysp taat 


ttiefe things might cut to the quick, but they were all 
juft.) Unluckily his temperament was what the atomi- 
cal philofophers (who can explain every thing by aethers 
and vibrations) call fanguine. He therefore (his own 
■word) was a paffionate admirer of the ladies. Coming 
home from fupper he frequently met a young Mifs in 
the way to his lodgings, neatly drefled in a rofe-colour- 
cd filk jacket and train, and a fable bonnet, collly, and 
like a lady. ' One evening (after fome old khenifh, as 
he fays) he faw the lady home; Some time after, the 
miftrefs of the houfe, Madam Godfchuflcy, came into 
his room, and faid that the poor maiden was pregnant. 
He could not help that' — but it was very unfortunate, 
and would ruin him if known.-^He therefore gave the 
old lady a bond for 200 dahlers) to be paid by inftal- 
ments of twenty -five.- — — " The girl was fenfible, and 
good, and as he had already paid for it, and her conver- 
fation was agreeable, he did notdifcontinue his acquaint- 
ance." A comrade one day told him., that one Bel, a 
magiftrate, whom he had lampooned, knew the affair, and 
would bring it into court, unlefs he immediately retriev- 
ed the bond. This bond was the only evidence, but it 
was enough. Neither Bahrdt nor his friend could raife 
the money. But they fell on another CQntrivance. They 
got Madam Godfchufky to meet them at another houfej. 
in order to receive the money. Bahrdt was in a clofet, 
and his comrade wore a fword. The woman could not 
be prevailed on to produce the bond tiU Bahrdt fliould 
arrive, and the money be put into, her hands, with a pre- 
fent to herfelf. The comrade tried to flutter her, and, 
drawing his fword, fhewed her how men fenced — made 
paffes at the wall-r-and then at her — but fhe was too firm 
-r-he then threw away his fword, and began t-o try to force 
the paper from her. She defended herfelf a good whilej 

. J i 


but at length he got the paper out of her pocket, tore it in. 
pieces, opened the clofet-door, and faid, "There you b — 
there is the honorable fellow whom you and your Vv'h — 
have bullied — but it is with me you have to do now, and 
you know that I can bring you to the gallaws." There 
wasa great fquabble to be fure, fays Bahrdt, but itended, 
and I thought all was now over. — But Mr. Bel had got 
word of it, and brought itinto court the very day that Bahrdt 
was to have made fome very reverend appearance at church.. 
In fhort, after many attempts of his poor father to lave 
him, he was obliged to fend in his gown and band, and to 
quit the place. It was fome comfort, however, that Ma- 
dam Godfchufky and the young Mifs did not fare much 
better. They were both imprifoned. Madam G. died 
fome time after of fome fhocking difeafe. The court- 
records give a very different account of the whole, and 
particularly of the fcuffle ; but Bahrdt's ftory is enough.. 

Bahrdt fays, that his father was fevere — but acknow- 
ledges that his own temperament was hafty (why does 
not his father's temperament excufe foraething ? Vibrati. 
unculoe will explain every thing or nothing.) " There- 
fore (again) I fometimes forgot myfelf. — One day I laid' 
a loaded piflol on the table, and told him that he fhould 
meet with that if he went on fo. B^it I was only feven- 

Dr. BahrdtN was, of courfe, obliged to le?ve the 
place. His friekds, and Semler in particular, an emi- 
nent theological writer, who had formed a very favora- 
ble opinion of his uncommon talents, were afliduous in 
their endeavours to get an eilablifhment for him. But 
his high opinion of himfelf, his temper, impetuous, pre- 
cipitant, and overbearing, and a bitter fatirical habit 
which he had freely indulged in his outfet of life, raadei 
their endeavours very ineffectual. 


At laft he got a profelT'orfiiip at Erlangen, then at Er- 
^urth, and in 1771, at GieiTen. But in all thefe placea, 
he was no fooner fettled than he got into difputes with 
his colleagues and with the eilablifiied church, being a 
ftrenuous partizan of the innovations which were at- 
tempted to be made in the do6lrines of Chriftianity. In 
his anonymous publications, he did not truft to rational 
<iifculIion alone, but had recourfe to ridicule and per- 
fonal anecdotes, and indulged in the moft cutting far- 
cafms and grofg fcurrility. — Being fond of convivial 
company, his income was infufficient for the craving de- 
mand, and as foon as he found that anecdote and flan- 
der always procured -readers, he never ceafed writing. 
He had wonderful readinefs and aftivity, and fpared nei- 
ther friends nor foes in his anonymous performances. 
But this could not la'ft, and his avowed theological writ- 
ings were fuch as could not be fufFcred in a Profeflbr of 
Divinity. The very fludents at Gieffen were fhocked 
with fome of his liberties. After much wrangling in the 
church-judicatories he was juft going to be difmilTed, 
when he got an invitation to Marfchlins irt Switzerland 
to fuperintend an academy. He went thither about the 
year 1776, and formed the feminary after the model of 
Bafedow's Philanthropine, or academy, at Deflau, of 
which I have already given fome account. It had ac- 
quired fome celebrity, and the plan was peculiarly fuit- 
ed to Bahrdt's tafte, becaufe it left him at liberty to in- 
troduce any fyftem of religious or irreligious opinions 
that he pleafed. He refolve-d to avail himfelf of this li' 
berty, and though a clergyman and Do6lor of Theology, 
he would outftrip even Bafedow, who had no ccclcfiaf- 
tical orders to reftrain him. But he wanted the mode- 
ration, the prudence, and the principle of Bafedow. 
He had, by this time, formed his opinion of mankind, 
hy meditating on the feelings of his. own mind. Hk 


theory of human nature was fimple — " The leading pro- 
penfities, fays he, of the human mind are three — In- 
iUn6live Uberty (Freyheitjlriebc) — inftindive adivity 
(Triebe fur Thatigkeit) — and inftinctive love (Liebes 
triebeJ") I do not wifii to mifunderftand him, but I 
can give no other tranflation. — " If a man is obllruded 
in the exercife of any of thefe propenfities, he fuffers an 
injury — The bufmefs of a good education therefore is to 
teach us how they are to be enjoyed in the higheft de- 

We need not he furprifed although the DoQor fhould 
find it difficult to manage the Cyclopedia in his Philan- 
thropine in fuch a manner as to give fatisfaftion to the 
neighbourhood, which was habituated to very different 
fentiments. — Accordingly he found his fituation as un- 
comfortable as at Gieflen. He fays, in one of his lateft 
performances, " that the Grifons were a flrong inftance 
of the immenfe importance of education. They knew 
nothing but their handicrafts, and their minds were as 
coarfe as their perfons." He quarrelled with them all, 
and was obliged to ^bfcond after lying fome time in 

He came to Durkheim or Turkheim, where his fa- 
ther was or had been minifter. His literary talents were 
well known. — After fome little time he got an aflocia- 
tion formed for erefting and fupporting a Philanthro- 
pine or houfe of education. A large fund was collecled^ 
and he was enabled to travel into Holland and England, to 
engage pupils, and was furnillied with proper recommcn- 
dations.-^On his return the plan was carried into execu- 
tion. The callle or refidence of Count Leining Hartz- 
burgh at Heidefheim, having gardens, park, and every 
ha.udfomc accoinniodation,, had been titled up for it. 


nand it was confccrated by a folemn religious fcilival in 


But his old misfortunes purfued him. He had indeed 
no colleagues lo quarrel with, but his avowed publica- 
tions became every day more obnoxious — and when any 
of his anonymous pieces had a great run, he could not 
ftifle his vanity and conceal the author's name. — Of 
thefe pieces, fome were even fhocking to decency. — It 
was indifferent to him whether it was friend or foe that 
he abufcd ; and fome of them were fo horribly inJuriouiS 
to the charatters of the moil refpeclable men in the ftate, 
that he was continually under the correftion of the courts 
of juftice. There was hardly a man of letters that had 
ever been in his company who did not fulFer by it. For 
his conflant praBice was to father every new Hep that he 
took, towards AtheiiVn on fome other perfon ; and, 
whenever the reader kes, in the beginning of a book, 
any perfon celebrated by the author for iound fenfe, 
profound judgment, accurate reafoniag, or praifed for 
acts of friendfhip and kindnefs to Iwrnfelf, he may be 
allured that, before the clofe of the book, this man will 
convince Dr. Bahrdt in fome private converfation, that 
fome doctrine, cheriihed and venerated by ail Chrifti- 
ans, is a piece of knavifh fuperftition. So lolt was Dr. 
Bahrdt to all fenfe of fhame. He faid that he held his 
own opinions independent of all mankind, and was in- 
different about their praife or tiieir reproach. 

Bahrdt's licentious, very licentious life, was the caufe 
of moft of thefe enormities. No income could fufScc, 
and he wrote for bread. The abomiiiable way in which 
the literary manufacture of Germany was conducted, 
made it impoilible to hinder the rapid difpcrlion of his 
writiiigs over all Germany ; and the indelicate and coarfe 


maw of the public was as ravenous as the fenfuality tsT 
Dr. Bahrdt, who really battened in the Epicurean jfly. 
The confequence of all this was that he was obliged to 
fly from Heidefheiim, leaving his furcties ift the Philun" 
ihropine to pay about 14,000 dahler^, befides debts 
without number to his friends. He was imprifoned at 
Dienheim, but was releafed I know not how, and fet- 
tled at Halle. There he funk to be a keeper of a tavern 
and billiard-table, and his houfe became the re fort and 
the bane of the ftudents in the Univerfity. — He was 
obhged therefoie to leave the city. He had fomehow 
got funds Av'hich enabled him to buy a little vineyard, 
prettily fituaied in the neighbourhood. This he fitted 
up with every accommodation that could invite the ftu- 
dents, and called it Bahrdfs Ruhe. We have already 
i'een the occupations of Dr. B. in this Bucn Retiro — 
Can we call it otiuvii cum digniiaie ? Alas no ! He had 
jiot lived two years here, bultling and toiling for the 
German Union, fometimes without a bit of bread— 
-when he was fent to prifon at Halle, and then to Mag- 
deburgh, where he was more than a year in jail. He 
v;as fet at liberty, and returned to Bahrdfs Ruhe, not, 
alas, to live at eafe, but to lie down on a fick bed, where, 
after more than a year's fuffering cncreaiing pain, he 
died on the 23d of April 1793, the moft wretched ^nd 
loathfome vitlim of unbridled fenfuality. 

The account of his cafe is written by a friend, a Dr. 
Jung, who profefies to defend his memory and his prin- 
ciples. The medical defcription melted my heart, and 
I am ceriain would make his bitter-eft enemy weep. 
Jung repeatedly fays that the cafe was not venereal — 
x;alls it the vineyard difeafe — the quickhlver difeafe (he 
■was. dying of an unconquerable falivation) and yet, 
through the whole of his narration, relates jymptoms and 


fu-fferings, which, as a medical man, he could not pof- 
fibly mean to be taken in any other fenfe than as efFccls 
©f pox. He meant to pleafe the enemies of poor Bahrdt, 
knowing that fuch a man could have no friends, and 
being himfelf ignorant of what fricndfhip or goodnefs is. 
The fate of this poor creature affetled me more than any 
thing I have read of a great while. All his open ene~ 
mies put together have not faid fo much ill of him as his- 
trufted friend Pott, and another confident, whofe name 
I cannot recoiled, who pubiifhed in his lifetime an ano- 
nymous book called Bahrdt with the iron hroio—zniX 
this fellow Jun-g, under the abfurd maflv of friendfhip,. 
exhibited the loathfome carcafe for a florin, like a male- 
£a6lor's at Surgeons Hall. Such were the fruits of the 
German Union, of that Illumination that was to refinc 
the heart of man, and bring to maturity the feeds of na-- 
live virtue, which are choaked in the hearts of other 
men by fuperftition and defpotifm. We fee nothing 
but mutual treachery and bafe deliertion* 

I do not concern myfelf witli the gradual perverfion 
of Dr. Bahrdt's moral and religious opinions^ But he 
affetled to be the enlightener and reformer of mankind ; 
and affirmed, that all the mifchiefs in life originated from 
defpotifm fupported by fuperftition. " In vain," fays 
he, " do we complain of the inefficacy of religion. All 
pofitive religion is founded on injuftice. No Prince 
has a right to prefcribe or fanclion any fuch fyftem. 
Nor, would he do it, were not the priefts the firmeft; pil- 
lars of his tyranny, and fuperftition the ftrongeft fetters 
for his fubjefls. He dares not fliow religion as flie is„ 
pure and undefiled — She would charm the eyes and the 
hearts of mankind, would immediately produce true mo- 
lality, would open the eye^ of frccborn ma?n, would teacb 


him what are his rights, and who are his oppreffors, and 
Princes would vanifli from the face of the earth. ' 

Therefore, without trouhhng ourfelves with the truth 
orfalfehood of his rehgion of Nature, and affuming it a<5 
an indifputable point, that Dr. Bahrdt has feen it in this 
iiatural and fo effeftive purity, it is furely a very perti- 
iient queflion, " Whether has the fight produced on his 
mind an effeft fo far fuperior to the acknowledged faint-' 
nefs of the impreffion of Chriilianity on the bulk of man- 
kind, that it will be prudent to adopt the plan of the Ger- 
man Union, and at once put an end to the divifions 
which fo unfortunately alienate the minds of profeding 
Chriilians from each other?" The account here given 
of Dr. Bahrdt's life feems to decide the queftion. 

But it will be faid that I have only related fo many 
inftances of the quarrels of Priefts and their flavifh ad- 
herents with Dr. Bahrdt. Let us view him in his ordi- 
nary conduft, not as the Champion and Martyr of Illu- 
mination, but as an ordinary citizen, a hufband, a father^ 
a friend, a teacher of youth, a clergyman. 

When Dr. Bahrdt was a parifii-miniQer, and prefi-- 
dent of fome inferior ecclefi^ftical diftri6l, he was em- 
powered to take off the cenfures of the church from a 
young woman who had borne a baftard child. By vio- 
lence he again reduced her to the fame condition, and 
cfcaped cenfure, by the poor girl's dying of a fever be- 
fore her pregnancy was far advanced, or even legally 
documented. Alfo, on the night of thefolemn farce of 
confecrating his Philanthropine, he debauched the maid- 
fervant, who bore twins, and gave him up for the father. 
Tliie thing, I prcfume, was not judicioufly. proved, other- 
wife he would have furely been difgraced ; but it was af- 


terwards made evident, by the letters which were found by 
Pott, when he undertook to write his life. A feries of thefe 
letters had paifed between him and one Graf a fteward, 
who was employed by him to give the woman the fmall 
pittance by which fhe and the infants were maintained. 
Remonftrances were made when the money was not ad- ' 
vanced ; and there are particularly letters about the end 
of 1779, which fhow that Bahrdt had ceafed giving any 
thing. On the of February 1780, the infants (three 
years old) were taken away in the night, and were found 
expofed, the one at Ufftein, and the other at Worms, 
many miles diftant from each other, and almoR frozen 
to death. The firft was found, by its moans, by a fhoe- 
maker in a field by the road-fide, about fix in the morn- 
ing ; the other was found by two girls between the 
hedges in a lane, fet between two great ftones, paft all 
crying. The poor mother travelled up and down the 
country in queft of her infants, and hearing thefe ac- 
counts, found them both, and took one of them home ; 
but not being able to maintain both, when Bahrdt's com- 
miflioner refufed contributing any more, it remained 
with the good woman who had taken it in. 

Bahrdt was married in 1772 while at Gieffen ; but af- 
ter wafting the greateft part of his wife's little fortune left 
her by a former hufband, he was provoked, by lofin^ 
1000 florins (about L. 110} in the hands of her brother, 
who would not pay it up. After this he ufed her very 
ill, and fpeaks very contemptuoufly of her in his own 
account of his life, calling her a dowdy, jealous, and 
every thing contemptible. In two infamous novels, he 
exhibits charaBers, in which flie is reprefented in a moft 
cruel manner ; yet this woman (perhaps during the ho- 
ney-moon^ was enticed by him one day into the bath, in 


the pond of the garden of the Philanthropine at Heidef^ 
heim, and there, in the light of all the pupils, did he 
(aifo undrefied) toy with his naked wife in the water. 
When at Halle, he ufed the poor woman extremely ill, 
keeping a miflrefs in the houfe, and giving her the whole 
command of the family, while the wife and daughter 
were confined to a feparate part of it. When in prifon 
at Ma^gdeburgh, the (Irumpet lived with him, and bore 
him two children. He brought them all to his houfe 
when he was fetat liberty. Such barbarous ufage made 
the poor woman at lafi; leave him and live with her bro- 
ther. The daughter died about a vear before him, of 
an overdofe of Laudanum given by her iaiber, to pro- 
cure fleep when ill of a fever. He ended ht.s ov,'n wretch- 
ed life in the fame manner, unable, poor man, to bear 
his diftrefs, without the fmallcft compuntlion or forrow 
for his conduct ; and the lait thing he did was to fend, 
for a bookfeller (Vipink of Halle, who had publifhed, 
forae of his vile pieces) and recommend his (Irumpet and 
her children to his protedionj without one thought of 
his injured wife. 

/ I fhall end my account of this profligate monfter with 
a fpecimen of his way of ufmg his friends. 

" Of all the acquifitions which I made in England, 

Mr. (the name appears at full length) was the 

moil important. This perfon was accomplifhed in the 
higheft degree. With found judgment, great genius, 
and correct tafle,^ he was perfe6tly a man of the world. 
He was my friend, and the only perfon who warmly in- 
terefted hirafelf for my inftitution. To his warm and 
repeated recommendations I owe all the pupils I got in 
England, and many moft refpeftable connections ; foi 
he was univerfally efteemed as a man of learning and of 


■Ae mod unblemifhcd worth. He was my friend, my 
conduQor, and I may fav my prefervgr ; for when I jiad 
FiOt bread for two days, he took me to his houfe, and 
fupplied all my wants. Tliis gentleman was a clergy- 
man, and had a fmall but genteel and fclefted congrega- 
tion, a flock which requiied (Irowg food. My fnend 
preached to them pure natural religion, and was beloved 
by them. His fermons were excellent, and delivered 
with native energy and grace, becaufe they came from 
the heart. I had once the honor of preaching for him. 
But what a difference — I found myfelf afraid — I feared 
to fpeak too boldiy, becaufe I did not know where I 
was, and thought myfelf fpeaking to my crouching coun- 
trymen. But the liberty of England opens every heart, 
and makes it acceffible to morality. I can give a very 
remarkable inRaRce* 

" The women of the town in London do not, to be 
fure, meet with my unqualified approbation in all re- 
fpe6ls. But it is impofhble not to be flruck with the 
-propriety and decency of their manners, fo unlike the 
clownifh impudence of our German wh . I could 

TJOt diftinguifli them from modeft women, otherwife than 
by their greater attention and eagernefs to fhew me civi- 
lity. My friend ufed to laugh at my miflakes, and I could 
not believe him when he told me that the lady who had 

" kindly fliSwed the way to me, a foreigner, was a votary 
of Venus. He maintained that Englifh liberty natural- 
ly produced morality and kindnelk. I Itill doubted, and 
he faid that he would convince me by my own experi- 
ence. Thefe girls are to be feen in crouds every evenini^ 
in every quarter of the tcnvn. Akhough fome of them 
may not have even a fhift, they come out in the even- 
ing drefled like princeffes, in hired clothes, which arc en- 

• drafted to them withotu: any fear of their making oft 'wi<h 


them. Their fine fhape, their beautiful flcin, and dark 
brown hair, their fwelling bofom fo prettily fet off' by 
their black filk drefs, and above all, the gentle fweetnefs 
of their manners, makes an impreflion in the higheft de- 
gree favorable to them. They civilly offer their arm^ 
and fay, " My dear,, will you give me a glafs of wine." 
If you give them no encouragement, they pafs on, and 
givciio farther trouble. I went with my friend to Co< 
vent Garden, and after admiring the innumerable beau* 
ties we faw in the piazzas, we gave our arm to three vt* 
ry agreeable girls, and immediately turned in to a tem- 
ple of the Cytherean Goddefs, which is to be found at 
every fecond door of the city, and were fhown into a par- 
lour elegantly carpeted and furniflied, and lighted with 
wax, with every other accommodation at hand. My friend 
called for a pint of wine, and this was all the expence, 
for which we received fo much civility. The converfa- 
tion and other behaviour of the ladies was agreeable in 
the higheft degree, and not a word paffed that would have 
diftinguifhed them from nuns, or that was not in the 
higheft degree mannerly and elegant. We parted in the 
flreet — and fuch is the liberty of England, that my friend 
ran not the fmalleft rifle of fuffering either in his honor 
or ufefulnefs.-^Such is the eflfeft of freedom," 

We may be fure, the poor man was aftoniftied when 
he faw his name before the public as one of the enlight- 
eners of Chriftian Europe. He is really a man of worth, 
and of the moft irreproachable chara6ter, and knew that 
whatever might be the protection of Britifli liberty, fuch 
conduft would ruin him with his own hearers, and in the 
minds of all his refpeBable countrymen. He therefore 
fent a vindication of his chara8;er from his flanderous 
abufe to the publiftiers of the principal newfpapers and 
iiterary joiirnals in Germany. The vindication is com- 


plete, and B. is convifted of having related what he could 
not pojfibly have Jecn. It is worthy of remark, that the 
vindication did not appear in the Berlin Monatjchrijt^ 
nor in any of the Journals which make favorable menti- 
on of the performances of the Enlighteners. 

." Think not, indignant reader," fays Arbuthnot, 
** that this man's life is ufelefs to mortals." It Ihows 
in aftrong light the falfity of all his declamations in fa- 
vor of his fo much praifed natural religion and univerfal 
kindnefs and humanity. No man of the party writes 
with more perfuafive energy, and, though his petulance 
and precipitant felf-conceit lead him frequently aCtray, 
no man has occafionally put all the arguments of thefc 
philofophers in a clearer light ; yet we fee that all h faUe 
and hollow. He is a vile hypocrite, and the real aim. 
of all his writings is to make money, by fostering the 
fenfual propenhties of human nature, although he fees 
and feels that the completion of the plan of the German 
Union would be an event more deftruftive and lamenta- 
ble than any that can be pointed out in the annals of fu.- 
peritition. I w^ill not fay that all partifans of Illumina- 
tion are hogs of the fty of Epicurus like this wretch. 
But the reader muft acknowledge that, in the in'litution 
of Weifhaupt, there is the fame train of fenfual indul- 
gence laid along the whole, and that purity of heart and 
life is no part of the morality that is held forth as th,e 
perfeftion of human nature. The final abolition of 
Chriftianity is undoubtedly one of its objects — whether 
as an end of their efforts, or as a mean for the attainment 
of fome end ftill more important. Purity of heart is 
perhaps the moft diiiinclive feature of Chriftian m/ora- 
lity. Of this Dr. Bahrdt feems to have had no concep- 
tion ; and his inditulion, as well as his wnting.s, ihcnvr 
him to have been a very coarfe fenfualift. But his tade, 


though coarfe, accorded with what Weifliaupt confider- 
ed as a ruHng propenfity, by which he had the beft chance 
of iecuring the fidehty of his lubjefts. — Craving defires, 
beyond the bounds of our means, were the natural con- 
fequences of indulgence — and fince the purity of Chrift- 
ian morality ftood in his way, his firft care was to clear 
the road by rooting it out altogether — What can follow 
but general dilfolutenefs of manners ? 

Nothing can more diftinBly prove the crooked poli- 
tics of the Reformers than this. It may be confidered 
as the mainfpring of their whole machine. Their pupils 
were to be led by means of their meaner defires, and the 
aim of their conduftors was not to inform them, but 
merely to lead them ; not to reform, but ro rule the 
world. — They would reign, though in hell, rather than 
ferve in heaven. — Dr. Bahrdt was a true Apoftle of II- 
lumioatifm ; and though his torch was made of the groffeft 
materials, and " ferved only to difcover fights of woe," 
the horrid glare darted into every corner, roufmg hun- 
dreds of filthy vermin, and direfting their flight to the 
"rotten carrion where they could beft depofit their poifon 
and their eggs ; in the breafts, to wit, of the fenfual and 
profligate, there to fefter and burft forth in a new and 
hkhy progeny : and it is aftonifliing what numbers were 
thus roufed into aftion. The fcheme of Reading Soci- 
eties had taken prodigioufly, and became a very profit- 
able part of the literary trade of Germany. The book- 
fellers and writers foon perceived its importance, and 
^8.ed in concert. 

I might fill a volume with extrafts from the criticifms 
v.hich were publifhed on the Religion EdiH fo often 
mentioned already. The Leipzig catalogue for one 
year contained 173. Although it concerned the Pruf- 


fkn States alone, thefe appeared in every corner of Ger- 
many ; nay, alfo in_Holland, in Flanders, in Hungary, 
in Switzerland, in Courland, and in Livonia. This 
fUows it to have been the operation of an Affociated 
Band, as was intimated to the King with fo much petu- 
lance by Mirabeau. There was (paft all doubt) fuch a 
combination among the innumerable fcribblers who fup- 
plied the fairs of Leipzig and Frankfort. Mirabeau 
calls it a Conjuration dcs Fhilofophes, an exprefiion very 
clear to himlelf, for the miriads of garreteers who have 
long fed the craving mouth of Paris (" always thiriling 
after fome new thing") called themfelves phihDfophers, 
and, like the gangs of St. Giles's, converfed with each 
other in a cant of their own, full of moral, of energie, 
of bienvcillance^ <k.c. Sec. See. unintelligible or mifun- 
derllood by other men, and ufed for the purpofe of de- 
ceit. While Mirabeau lived too, they formed a Con- 
juration. The 34th of July 1790 the mod folemn in- 
vocation of the Divine prefence ever made on the face 
of this earth, put an end to the propriety of this appel- 
lation ; for it became ncceflary (in the progrefs of poli- 
tical Illumination) to declare that oaths were nonfenfe,. 
bccaufe the invoked was a creature of the imagination, 
and the grand federation, like Weilhaupt and Bahrdt's 
Mafonic Chriftianity, is declared, totliofe initiated into 
the higher myfteries, to be a lie. But if we have no 
longer a Conjuration des Philofopkes, we have a gang of 
fcribblers that has got poffefLon of the public mind by 
their manage mer^ of the literary journals of Germany, 
and have made licentious fentiments in politics, in mo- 
rals, and in religion, as familiar as were formerly the ar- 
ticles of ordinary news. All the fceptical writings of 
England put togct.her will not make half the number 
that have appeared in Proteftant Germany during the. 
laft twelve or fifteen years. And. in the Criticifras on 


the Edift, it is hard to fay whether infidelity or difloy- 
aky fills the mod pages. 

To fuch a degree had the Illuminaii carried this favo- 
rite and important point that they obtained the direction 
even of thofe whofe office it was to prevent it. There is 
at Vienna, as at Berlin, an office for examining and li- 
cenfing writings before they can have their courfe in the 
fftarket. This office publiflies annually an index of for- 
bidden books. In this index are included the account 
Cff the laft Operations of Spartacus and Philo in the Or- 
der of Illuminati^ and a differtation on The Final Over- 
throw of Free Mafonry, a moff excellent performance, 
fliowing the gradual corruption and final perverfion of 
that fociety to a fcminary of fedition. Alfo the Vienna 
Magazine of Literature and Arts, which contains many 
accounts of the inteferences of the Illuminati in the dif- 
turbances of Europe. The Cenfor who occafioned this 
prohibition was an Illuminatus, named Rctzer. He 
makes a moft pitiful and Jefuitical defence, fhowing 
himfelf completelv verfant in all the chicane of the Illu- 
minati, and devoted to their Infidel principles. (See ReL 

Megebenh. lygS' P- 493-) 

There are two performances which give us much in- 
formation refpeBing the ftate of moral and political opi- 
nions in Germany about this time. One of them is cal- 
led, Proofs of a hidden Combination to defray the Free- 
dom of Thought and Writing in Germany. Thefe proofs 
are general, taken from many Concurring circumllances 
in the Condition of German literature. They are con- 
vincing to a thinking mind, but are too abftraBed to be 
very impreflive on ordinary readers. The other is the 
Appeal to my Country (which I mentioned in the former 
part of this work.) This is much more (Iriking, and, in 


each branch of literature, gives a progrcflivc account of 
the changes of fentiinent, all fupported by the evidence 
of the books^hemfelvcs. The author puts it pall con- 
tradidion, that in every fpecies of literary corapofition 
into which it was'poffible, v/ithout palpable abiurdity, to 
introduce licentious or feditious principles, it was done. 
Many romances, novels, journies through Germany and 
and other countries,* are written on purpofe to attach 
praife or reproach to certain fentinients, characters, and 
pieces of conducl. The Prince, the nobleman, is. made 
defpotic, oppreffive, unfeeling, or ridiculous — the poor, 
and the men of talents, are unfortunate and neglcBcd— 
and here and there a fiditious Graf or Baron is made a 
divinity, by philanthropy expreffed in romantic charity 
and kindnefs, or oflentatious indifference for the little 
honors which are fo precious in the eyes of a German. 
— ^In fhort, the fyftem of Weifliaupt and Knigge is car- 
ried into vigorous effeft over all. In both thefe per- 
formances, and indeed in a vaft number of other pieces, 
.1 fee that the influence of Nicholai is much commented 
dn, and confidered as having had the chief hand in all 
thofe innovations. 

Thus I think it clearly appears, that the fuppreffion 
of the Illuminati in Bavaria and of the Union in Bran- 
denburgh, were infufficient for removing the evils which 
they had introduced. The Eleftor of Bavaria was obli- 
ged to iffue another proclamation in November 1790, 
.warning his fubjefl:s of their repeated machinations, and 
particularly enjoining the Magiftrates to obferve ,care- 

* A plan adopted within thefe few years in our own country, 
which, if profecuted with the fame induftry with which it has been 
begun, will foon render our circulating Libraries fo many Nurfe- 
ries of Sedition and Impiety, (See Travel's into Germany by Efte.) 

L I 


fully the affemblies in the Reading Societies, which were 
lELiiLiplying in his States. A fimilar proclamation was 
made and repeated by the Regency of Hjjppover, and it 
was on this occafion that Mauvillon impudently avowed 
the moft anarchical opinions. — -But Weifhaupt and his 
agents were flill bufy and fuccefsful. The habit of 
.plottiiig had formed itfelf into a regular fyRem. Soci- 
eties npw afted every where in fecret, in correfpondence 
.with fimilar focieties in diftant places. And thus a mode 
of co-operation was furniflied to the difcontented, the 
reftlefs, and the unprincipled in all places, without even 
•the trouble of formal initiations, and without any ex- 
ternal appearances by which the exigence and occupa- 
tions of the members could be diftinguifhed. The Hy- 
■dra's teeth were already fown, and each grew op, inde- 
pendent of the reft, and foon fent out its own oifsets. — 
In all places where fuch fecret praftices were going on, 
ihere did not fail to appear fome individuals of more 
than common zeal and a6livity, who took the lead, each 
in his own circle. This gave a confiftency and unity ta 
the operations of the reft, and they, Encouraged by this 
co-operation, could now attempt things which they 
would not have otherwife ventured on. It is not till 
jlhis ftate of things obtains, that this influence becomes 
fenfible to the public. Philo, in his public declaration, 
unwarily lets this appear. Speaking of the numerous 
little focieties in which their principles were cultivated, 
he fays, " we thus begin to be formidable." It may 
BOW alarm — but it is now too late. The fame germ is' 
now fprouting in another place. 

I muft not forget to take notice that about this time 
(1787 or 1788) there appeared an invitation from a Ba- 
ron or Prince S , Governor of the Dutch fortrefs 

H -, before the troubles in Holland to form a fociety 


for lilt ProttUion of Princes. — The plan is exprefTed in 
very enigmatical terras, but fuch as plainly fl^iow it to 
be merely an odd title, to catch the public eye -, for the 
AfTociation is of the fame feditious kind with all thofe 
already fpoken of, viz. profeffing to enlighten the minds 
£>f men, and making them imagine that all their hard- 
fhips proceed from fuperllition, which fubjetis them to 
ufelefs and crafty priefts; and from their own indolence 
and want of patriotifm, which make them fubmit to the 
mal-adminiftration of minifters. The Sovereign is fup- 
pofed to be innocent, but to be a cypher, and every 
magiftrate, who is not chofen by the people actually 
under him, is held 10 be a defpot, and is to be bound 
hand and foot. — Many circumltances concur to prove 
that the projeftor of this infidious plan is the Prince 
Salms, who fo afiiduoufly fomented all the difturbances 
in the Dutch and Auftrian Netherlands. He had, be- 
fore this time, taken into his fervice Zwack, the Cato 
of the Illumiiiati. The project had gone fome length 
when it was difcovered and fupprelfed by the States. 

Zimmerman, who had been prcfident of the Illumi- 
nati in Manheim, was alfo a mod atlive perfon in pro- 
pagating their doctrines in other countries. He was 
employed as a midionary, and erected fome Lodges even 
in Rome — alfo at Neufchatel — and in Hungary. He 
was frequently feen in the latter place by a gentleman of 
my acquaintance, and preached up all the often fiblc 
dotlnnes of Illuminatifm in the moil public manner, and 
made many prolblytcs. But when it was difcovered that 
their real and IVindamental doQrines were different from 
thofe which he profclfed in order to dravv? in profclytes, 
Zimmerman left the country in halle. — Some time aner 
this he was arrefted in Prulfi^ for fcditjous harangu'^s — • 
but he cfcapedj and has not been heard of linte. — \v iieii 


he was in Hungary he boafled of having creQed above 
an hundred Lodges in different parts of Europe, fome 
of which were in England. 

That the Illuminati and dtlier hidden Cofmo-political 
focieties had fome influence in bringing about the French 
Revolution, or at leaft in accelerating it, can hardly be 
doubted. — In reading the fecret correfpondence, I was 
always furprifed at not finding any reports from France, 
and fomethin^ like a hefitation about eftablifliinsf a mif- 

o o 

fion there ; nor am I yet able thoroughly to account 
for it. But there is abundant evidence that they inter- 
fered, both in preparing for it in the fame manner as in 
Germany, and in accelerating its progrefs. Some let- 
ters in the Brunfwick Journal from one Campe^ who 
was an infpeftor of the feminaries of education, a man 
of talenLs, and an Itluminatus^ put it beyond doubt. 
He was reliding in Paris during its firft movements, and 
gives a minute account of them, lamenting their excef- 
fes, on account of their imprudence, and the ri{|< of 
fhockirig the nation, and thus dellroying the projeft, 
but juftifying the motives, on the true principles of Cof- 
ino-politifm. The Vienna Zeitfchriftand the Magazine 
of Literature and Fine Arts for 1790, and other pam- 
phlets of that date, fay the fame thing in a clearer man- 
ner. I fhall lay together fome pafTages from fuch as I 
have met with, which I think will fhew beyond all pof- 
fibility of doubt, that the lUuminati took an atlive part 
in the whole tranfatlion, and may be faid to have been 
its chief contrivers. I fliall premifea few obfcrvations, 
wbich will give a clearer view of the matter. 

C H A P. IV. 

The French Revolution. 


U R I N G thefe difTenfions and difcontents, and this 
general fermentation of the public mind in Germany, 
pxjlitical occurrences in France gave exercife and full 
fcope for the operation of that fpirit of revolt which had 
long growled in fecret in the different corners of tht.t 
great empire. The Cofmo-politital and fceptical opi- 
nions and fentiments fo much cultivated in all the Lodg- 
es of the Philalethes had by this time been openly pro- 
fefled by many of the fages of France, and artfully in- 
terwoven with their flatiftical ceconomics. The many 
contcfts between the King and the Parliament of Paris 
about the regillration of his edifts, had given occafion to 
much difcullion, and had made the public familiarly ac- 
quainted with topics altogether unfuitable to the abloluie 
monarchy of France. 

This acquaintance with the natural expfflations of 
the fubje^l, and the expediency of a candid attention on 
the part of Government to thefe cxpeclatioii^", and a 
view of Legiflation and Government founded on a very 
liberal interpretation of ail tlicfs thisigs, was procigiouf!/ 


promoted by the rafli interference of France in the dif- 
pute between Great Britain and her colonies. In this 
attempt to ruin Britain, even the court of France was 
obliged to preach the doftrines of Liberty, and to take 
its chance that Frenchmen would confent to be the on- 
ly flaves. But theh' officers and foldiers who returned 
from America, imported the American principles, and in 
every company found hearers who liftened with delight 
and regret to their fafcinating tale of American inde- 
pendence. During the war, the Minifter, who had too 
confidently pledged himfelf for the deftruftion of Bri- 
tain, was obliged to allow the Parrfians to amufe them- 
felves with theatrical entertainments, where Englifh law 
was reprefented as opprefiion, and every fretful extrava- 
gance of the Americans was applauded as a noble drug- 
gie for native freedom. — All wifhed for a tafte of that 
liberty and equality which they were allowed to applaud 
on the ftage ; but as foon as they came from the theatre 
into the ftreet, they found themfelvcs under all their for- 
mer rellraints. The fweet charm had found its way into 
their hearts, and all the luxuries of France became as 
dull as common life does to a fond girl when fiie lays 
down her novel. 

In this irritable flate of mind a fpark was fufficient for 
kindling a flame. To import this dangerous delicacy 
of American growth, France had expended many milli- 
ons, and was drowned in debts. The mad prodigality 
of the Royal Family and the Court had drained the 
treafury, and foreftalled every livre of the revenue. The 
edids for new taxes and forced loans were moft unwel- 
come and oppreffive. 

The Avocats auparlement had nothing to do with ftate- 
affairs, being very little more dian barrifters in the high- 


eft court of juftice ; and the higheft claim of the Prefi- 
dents of this court was to be a fort of humble counfel- 
lors to the King in common matters. It was a very 
ftrange inconfiftency in that ingenious nation to permit 
fuch people to touch on thofe llate-fubjefts ; for, iit 
faQ> the King of France was an abfolute Monarch, and 
the fubjecls were flaves. This is the refult of all their 
painful refearch, notwithftanding that glimmerings of na- 
tural juftice and of freedom are to be met with in their 
records. There could not be found in their hiftory fo 
much as a tolerable' account of the manner of calling the 
nation together, to learn from the people how their 
chains would heft pleafe their fancy. But all this was 
againft nature, and it was neceffary that it fliould come 
to an end, the firft time that the Monarch confeffed that 
he could not do every thing unlefs they put the tools into 
his hands. As things were approaching gradually but 
rapidly to this condition, the impertinent interference 
(for fo a Frenchman, fubjed of the Grand Monarchy 
nmjl think it) of the advocates of the Parliament of Paris 
was popular in the higheft degree ; and it muft be con- 
feffed, that in general it was patriotic, however incon- 
fiftent with the conftitution. They felt themfelves 
pleading the caufe of humanity and natural jufticc. This 
would emboldv-n honcft and worthy men to fpeak truth, 
however unwelcome to the court. In general, it muft 
alfo be granted that they fpoke with caution and with re- 
fpeCt to the fovereign powers ; and they had frequently 
the pleafure of being the means of mitigating the bur- 
dens of the people. The Parliament of Paiis, by this 
condu£l, came to be looked up to as a fort of mediator 
between the King and his fubjeds; and as the avocats 
faw this, they naturally rofe in their own eftimation far 
above tlie rank iw which the conftitution of their govern- 
ment had placed them. For it muft always be kept i« 


mind, that the robe was never confidered as the drefs of 
a Nobleman, although the caflock was. An advocate 
vas nnerely not a roturier ; and though we can hardly 
conceive a profefTion more truly honorable than the dif- 
pcnfin^ ofdirtributive juflice, nor any ftJll more conge- 
iH<il to a rational mind than that of the pra8ical niorality 
vvliich we, in theory, conlider as the light by which they 
arc always condutled ; and although even the artificial 
conllitulion of France had loni^ been obliged to bow to 
the di6laics ol' nature and humanity, and to confer nobi- 
lity, and even title, on fuch of the profcfiors of the mu- 
nicipal law as had, by their fliill and their honorable cha- 
ratler, rifen to the fnfl: offices of their profeffion, yet the 
Noblelle de la Robe never could incorporate with the 
Noblelfe du Sang, nor even with the NoblefiTe dc I'Epce. 
The defcendants of a Marquis de la Robe never could 
rife to certain dignities in the church and at court. The 
avocats de parlement felt this, and fmarted under the cx- 
clufioh from court-honors; and though they eagerly 
courted fuch nobility as they could attain, they feldom 
omitted any opportunity that occurred during their juni- 
or pra8ice of expofmg the arrogance of the NoblefTe, 
and the dominion of the court. This increafed their po- 
pularity, and i/i the prefent fituation of things, being cer- 
tain of fupport, they went beyond their former cautious 
bounds, and introduced in their pleadings, and particu- 
larly in their joint remonftrances againft the regiftration 
of edids, all the wire-drawn morality, and cofmc-politi- 
cal jurifprudence, which they had fo often rehearfed in 
ihe Lodges, and which h^d of late been openly preached 
by die economics and philofophers. 

A fignal was given to the nation for engaging " en 
maHe" in political difcuffion. The Nctahlcs were called 
upon to come andadvife the King; and the points were 


laid before them, in which his Majefty (infallible till 
now) acknowledged his ignorance or his doubts. But 
who were the Notables ? Weie they more knowing than, 
the King, or lefs in need of inftrufition ? The nation 
thought otherwife; nay, the court thought otherwife; 
for, in fome of the royal proclamations on this occafi- 
on, men of letters were invited to affift with their coun-. 
fels, and to give what information their reading and ex- 
perience fhould fugged as to the beft method of con- 
voking the States General, and of conducing their de- 
liberations. When a Minifter thus folicits advice from 
all the world how to govern, he mof} affuredly declares 
his own incapacity, and tells the people that now they 
muit govern themfelves. This however was done, and 
the Minifter, Neckar, the Philofopher and Philanthro- 
pift of Geneva, fet the example, by fending in his opi- 
nion, to be laid on the council-table with the reft. On 
this iignal, counfel poured in from every garret, and 
the prefs groaned with advice in every fhape. Ponder- 
ous volumes were written for the Bifliop or the Duke; 
a handfome 8vo for the Notable Officer of eighteen ; 
pamphlets and fmgle flieets for the loungers in the Pa- 
lais Royal. The fermentation was aftoniOiing ; but it 
was no more than fhould have been expefted from the 
moft cultivated, the moft ingenious, and the leaft bafli 
ful nation on earth. AH, wrote, and all read. Not 
contented with brindnCT forth all the fruits which the II- 

o o 

lumination of thefe bright days of reafon had raifed in 
fuch abundance in the confervatories of the Philakthes, 
and which had been, gathered from the writings of Vol- 
taire, Diderot, RouCTeau, Raynal, &c. the patriotic 
counfellors of the Notables had ranfacked all the wy'u 
tings of former ages. They difcovered that France 
HAD ALWAYS E E E ^f J R E E ! Ouc would havc thougbfe 

M m 


that they had travelled \vith Sir John Mandeville in that 
country where even the fpeeches of former times had 
been frozen, and were now thawing apace under the 
beams of the fun of Reafon. For many of thefe eiTays 
were as incongruous and mal-a-propos as the broken 
fentences recorded by Mr. Addifon in the Spetiator. 
A gentleman who was in Paris at this time, a perfon of 
great judgment, and well informed in every thinc^ ref- 
pe8;ing the conftitution and prefent condition of his 
country, . affared me that this invitation, followed by the 
memorial of Mr. Neckar, operated like an electrical 
fhock. In the courfe of four or five days, the appear- 
ance of Paris was completely changed. Every where 
one faw crowds ftaring at papers pafted on the walls- 
breaking into little parties — walking up and down the 
ftreets in eager converfation — adjourning to coft'ee-hou- 
fes — and the converfation in all companies turned to 
politics alone ; and in all thefe converfations, a new 
vocabulary, where every fecond word was Morality, 
Philanthropy, Toleration, Freedom, and Equalifation 
of property. Even at this early period perfons were 
liftened to without cenfure, or even furprife, who faid 
that it was nonfenfe to think of reforming their govern- 
ment, and that it muft be completely changed. In fliort, 
in the courfe of a month, a fpirit of liccntioufnefs and 
a rage for innovation had completely pervaded the minds 
of the Parifians. The molt confpicuous proof of this 
was the unexpefted fate of the Parliament. It met ear* 
lier than ufual, and to give greater eclat to its patriotic 
efforts, and completely to fecure the gratitude of the 
people, it iffued an arret on the prefent ftate of the na- 
tion, containing a number of refolutions on the differ- 
ent leading points of national liberty. A few months 
ago thefe would have been joyfully received as the Mag- 
na Charta of Freedom, aad really contained all that a 


wife people fhould defire; but becaufe the Parliament 
had fome time" before given it as their opinion as the 
conftitutional counfel of the Crown, that the States 
fliould be convoked on the principles of their iail meet- 
ing in 1614, which preferved the diftinftions of rank, 
all their pall fervices were forgotten — all their hard (Irug- 
gle with the former adminiftration, and their uncon- 
querable courage and perfeverance, which ended only 
with their downfall, all were forgotten ; and thofe dif- 
tinguifbed members whofe zeal and fufferings ranked 
them with the molt renowned heroes and martyrs of pa- 
triotifm, were now regarded as the contemptible tool^ 
of Arillocracy. The Parliament now {tt, in a fiery 
troubled fky — to rife no more. 

Of all the barrifters in the Parliament of Paris, the 
mod confpicuous for the difplay of the enchanting doc- 
trines of Liberty and Equality was Mr. Duval, fon of 
an Avocat in the fame court, and ennobled about this 
time under the name of Defprefmenil. He was mem- 
ber of a Lodge of the Amis Reunis at Paris, called the 
ContraB Social, and of the Lodge of Chevaliers Bien- 
faifants at Lyons. His reputation as a barrifter had been 
prodigioufly encreafed about this time by his manage- 
ment of a caufe, where the defcendant of the unfortu- 
nate General Lallv, after having; obtained the reRoration 
of the family honors, was driving to get back fome of 
the eftates. Mr. Lally Tollendahl l«d even trained 
himfelf to the profeflion, and pleaded his own caufe 
with aftonilhing abilities. But Defprefmenil had near 
connexions with the family which was in polfcfTion of 
the eiiates, and oppofed him Vv'ith equal powers, and 
more addrefs. He was on the hde which was moll a- 
greeable to his favorite topics of declamation, and his 
pleadings attraded rauCh notice both in Paris and in fome 


of the provincial Parliaments. I mention thefe things 
with fqme interefl:, becaufe this was the beginning of 
that marked rivalfhip between Lally Tollendahl and- 
Defprefmenil, which made fuch a figure in the journals 
of the National y\flembly. It ended fatally for both. 
Lally Tollendahl was obliged to quit the Afiembly, 
when he fav/ it determined on the deftru6lion of the mo- 
narchy and of all civil order, and at lad to emigrate from 
his country with the lofs of all his property, and to fub- 
fift on the kindnefs of England. Defprefmenil attained 
his meredian of popularity by his difcovery of the fecret 
plan of the Court to eftablifh the Cour plenio'e, and 
ever after this took the lead in all the ftrong meafures of 
the Parliament of Paris, which was now overftepping 
all bounds of moderation or propriety, in hopes of pre- 
ferving its influence after it had rendered itfelf impotent 
by an unguarded ftroke. Defprefmenil was the .firfi 
martyr of that Liberty and Equably which it was now 
boldly preaching, having voluntarily furrendered him-. 
felf a prifoner to the officer fent to demand him from the 
Parliament. He was alfo a martyr to any thing that re- 
mained of the very fhadow of liberty after the Revolu- 
tion, being guillotined by Robefpierre, 

I have already mentioned the intrigues of. Count Mi- 
rabeau at the Court of Berlin, and his feditious preface 
and notes on the anonymous letters on the Rights of the 
Pruflian States. • He alfo, while at Berlin, publiihed 
an EJfai fur la ScBc des Illmnincs^ one of the ftrangeft 
and moft impudent performances that ever appeared. 
He there defcribes a fed exifting in Germany, called 
the Illuminated^ and fays, that they are the moil abfurd 
and grofs fanatics imaginable, waging war with every 
appearance of Reafon, and m.aintaming the moft ridi- 
culous fuperftitions. Lie gives fome account of thefe, 


and of their rituals, ceremonies, &:c. as if he had feen 
them all. His fetl is a confufed mixture of Chriilian 
fuperftitions, Rofycrucian nonfenfe, and every thing 
that can raife contempt and hatred. But no fuch So- 
,ciety ever exifted, and Mirabeau confided in his own 
powers of deception, in order to fcreen from obferva- 
tion thofe who were known to be Ilhiminati, and to 
hinder the rulers from attending to their real machina- 
tions, by means of this Ignis fatuus of his own brain. 
He knew parfe6lly that the IHuminati were of a ftamp 
diametrically oppohte; for he was illuminated by Mau- 
villon long before. — He gained his point in fome mea- 
fure, for Nicholai and others of the junto immediately 
adopted the whim, and called them Obfcuranten, and 
joined with Mirabeau in placing on the Hit of Objcuran- 
ten feveral pcrfons whom they widied to make ridicu- 

Mirabeau was not more difcontented with the Court 
of Berlin for the fmall regard it had teftiiied For his emi- 
nent talents, than he was with his own Court, or rather 
with the minifter Calonne, who had fent him thither. 
Calonne had been greatly difiatisfied with his conduQ at 
Berlin, where his felf-conceit, and his private projefts, 
had made him aO: in a way almoli contrary to the pur- 
pofes of his miflipn. Mirabeau was therefore in a rage 
at the minifter, and publillied a pamphlet, in which his 
celebrated memorial on the (late of the nation, and the 
means of relieving it, was treated with the utmoft feve- 
rity of reproach ; and in this conteft his mind was 
wrought up to that violent pitch of oppontion which he 
ever after maintained. To be noticed, and to lead, were 
his fole objefcis — and he found that taking the fide of the 
difcontented was the bed field for his eloquence and rel- 
iefs arobition—Yei. there v/as no man thai was more de- 


voted to the principles of a court than Count Mirabeau, 
provided he had a (hare in the adminillration ; and h6 
would have obtained it, if any thing moderate would 
have fatished him — but he thought nothing worthy of 
him but a place of aftive truft, and a high department. 
For fuch offices all knew him to be totally unfit. He 
wanted knowledge of great things, and was learned only 
in the buftling detail of intrigue, and at any time would 
facrifice every thing to have an opportunity of exercifing 
his brilliant eloquence, and indulging his paflion for fa- 
tire and reproach. — The greateft obftacle to his advance- 
ment was the abjeft worthleffhefs of his chara6ler. What 
we ufually call profligacy, viz. debauchery, gaming, im- 
piety, and every kind of fenfuality were not enough — he 
was deflitute of decency in his vices — tricks which would 
dilgrace a thief-catcher, were never boggled at in order 
to fupply his expences — For inftance — His father and 
mother had a procefs of feparation — Mirabeau had juft 
been liberated from prifon for a grofs mifdemeanour, 
and was in want of money — He went to his father, hded 
with him in invxftives againft his mother, and, for lOO 
guineas, wrote his father's memorial for the court. — He 
then went to his-Hioiher, and by a fimilar condud got the 
fame fum from her — and both memorials were prefent- 
ed. Drinking was the only vice in which he did not in- 
dulge — his exhaufted conftitution did not permit it. His 
brother the Vifcount, on the contrary, was apt to exceed 
in jollity. One day the Count faid to him, " How can 
you, Brother, fo expofe yourfelf ?" " What ! fays the 
Vifcount, how infatiable you are — -Nature has given you 
every vice, and having left me only this one, you grudge 
it me." V/hen the eleftions were making for the States- 
General, he offered himfelf a candidate in his own or- 
der at Aix — But he Vv^as fo abhorred by the Noble ffe^ 
that they not only rejeQcd him, but even drove him 


from their meetings. This affront fettled his meafures, 
and he determined on their ruin. He went to the Com- 
mons, difclaimed liis being a gentleman, fet up a little 
fliop in the market-place of Aix, and fold trifles — and- 
now, fully refolved what line he fhould purfue, he court- 
ed the Commons, by joining in all their exceiTes againft 
the Nobleffe, and was at laft returned a member of the 

From this account of Mirabeau we can eafily foretell 
the ufe he would make of the Illumination which he had 
received in Germany. Its grand truths and juft mora- 
lity feem to have had the fame elfe£ls on his mind as on 
that of Weilhaupt or Bahrdt. 

In the year 1786, Mirabeau, in conjunQion with th.e 
Duke de Lauzun and the Abbe Perigord, afterwards' 
Bilhop of Autun (the man fo puifed in the National Af-I 
femblies as the brightefl pattern of humanity) reformed 
a Lodge of Philalcthes in Paris, which met in the Jaco- 
bin College or Convent. It was one of the Amis Real- 
ms, which had now rid itfelf of all the infignificant myf- 
ticifm of the feO:. This was now become troublefome, 
and took up the time which would be much better em- 
ployed by the Chevaliers du Soleil, and otiier ftill more 
refined champions of reafon and univerl'al citiz(?n(l:iip, 
Mirabeau had iraparted-to it fome of that Illumination 
vhich had beamed upon him when he was in Berlin. In 
1788 he and the Abbe were Wardens of the LorJge. 
They found that they had hot acquired all the dexterity 
of management that he underRood was pr26iired by his 
Brethren in Germany, for keeping up their connetlion, 
and conducting their correfpondence. A letter was 
therefore fent nom this Lodge, figned by thefe two gen- 
tlemen j to the Br^hren in Germany, rec^uelUng their 


alTidance and indruftion. In the couiTe of this year, 
and during the fitting of the Notables, a deputation 
WAS SENT from the German Illuminati to catch this glo- 
rious opportunity of carrying their plan into full execu- 
tion with the greated eclat. 

Nothing can more convincingly demonftrate the early 
intentions of a party, and this a great party, in France 
to overturn the conftitution completely, and plant a de- 
mocracy or Oligarchy on its ruins. The Illuminati had 
no other object. They accounted all Princes ufurpers 
and tyrants, and all privileged orders as their abettors. 
They intended to cftablifli a government of Morality, as 
they called it (Sittenregiment) where talents and charac- 
ter (to be eftimated by their own fcale, and by them- 
felves) fhould alone lead to preferment. They meant to 
abolifli the laws which protected property accumulated 
by long continued and fuccefsful induRry, and to pre- 
vent for the future any fuch accumulation. They in- 
tended to eftablifh univerfal Liberty and Equality, the 
imprefcriptible Rights of Man (at leafl: they pretended 
all this to thofe who were neither Magi nor Regentes.) 
And, as neceffary preparations for all this, they intend- 
ed to root out all religion and ordinary morality, and 
even to break the bonds of domeftic life, by deftroying 
the veneration for marriage-vows, and by taking the 
education of children out of the hands of the parents. 
This was all that the lUiiminati could teach, and this 


I cannot proceed in the narration without defiling the 
page with the dctePccd name of 077f«?25,-ftained with 
every thing that can degrade or difgrace human nature. 
Ke only wanted Illumination, to fiiew him in a fyftem 
all the opinions; difporitionsy and principles which fil- 


]ed his own wicked heart. This contemptible being 
was illuminated by Mirabeau, and has fliown himfelf 
the moll zealous difciple of the Order. In his oath of 
allegiance he declares, " That the interefts and the ob- 
je6l of the Order fliall be rated by him above all other 
relations, and that he will ferve it with his honor, his 
fortune, and his blood." — He has kept his word, and 
has facrificed them all — And he has been treated in the 
true fpirit of the Order — ufed as a mere tool, cheated 
and ruined. — For I mud now add, that the French bor- 
rov;ed from the Illurainati a maxim, unliCard of in any 
other afTociation of banditti, viz. that of cheating each 
other. As the managers had the ible pqfieffion of the 
higher myfteries, and led the reft by principles which 
they held to be falfe, and which they employed only for 
the purpofe of fecuring the co-operation of the inferior 
Brethren, ^o Mirabeau, Sieves, Pethion, and orhers, 
led the Duke of Orleans at firft by his wicked ambition, 
and the expeSation of obtaining that crown which they 
intended to break in pieces, that they might get the uf^ 
of his immenfe fortune, and of his influence on the 
thoufands of his depending fycophants, who ate his 
bread and pandered to his grofs appetiie<;. Although we 
very foon find him a6ling as an lUaminati'.s, we cannot 
fuppofe him fo loft to common fenfe as to contribute his 
fortune, and rifk his life, merely in order that the one 
fhould be afterwards taken from hi rat by law, and the 
other put on a level with that of his groom or his pimp. 
He furely hoped to obtain the crown of his indolent re- 
lation. And indeed Mirabeau faid to BergafTe, that 
'• when the projed was mentioned to the Buke of Or- 
leans, he received it with all poffible favor," (avec toute 
In grace imaginable.) During the coniefts between the 
Court and the Parliament of Parisj he courted popula- 



rity with an indecency and folly that nothing can explain 
but a mad and fiery ambition which blinded his eyes to 
all confequences. This is put out of doubt by his be- 
haviour at Verfailles on the dreadful 5th and 6lh of Oc- 
tober 1789. The depohtions at the Chatelet prove in 
the moft inconteftable manner, that during the horrors 
of thefe two days he was repeatedly feen, and th-at when- 
ever he was recognifed by the croud, he was huzzaed 
with Vive Orleans, Vive noire Roi Orleans, &c. — He 
then withdrew, and was feen in other pkces. While 
all about the unfortunate Royal Family were in the ut- 
moft concern for their fate, he was in gay humour, 
chatting on indifferent fubjetts. His laft appearance in 
the evening of the 5th was, about nine o'clock, converfmg 
in a corner with men difguifed in. mean drefs, and fome in 
women's clothes ; among whom were Mirabeau, Bar- 
nave, Duport, and other deputies of the Republican 
party — and thefe men were feen immediately after, con- 
cealed among the lines of the Regiment de Flandre, the 
corruption of which they had that day completed. He 
was feen as^ain next mornin<T converfmg with the fame 
perfons in women's drefs. And when the infulted Sove- 
reign was dragged in triumph to Paris, Orleans was again 
feen, flailking in a balcony behind his children, to view 
the proc-effion of devils and furies ; anxioufly hoping all 
the w'hile that fome diRurbance would arife in which the 
King might perifli. — I faould have added that he was 
feen in the morning at the top of the ftairs, pointing the 
way with his hand to the mob, where they fhould go, 
while he w^ent by another road to the King. In fliort, 
he went about trembling like a coward, waiting for the 
explofion which might render it fafe for him to fliew 
himfelf. Mirabeau faid to him, " The fellow carries a 
loaded piftol in his bofom, but will never dare to pull 
the trigger," He was faved^ notwithfiaiiding his own 


folly, by being joined in the accufation with Mirabeau, 
who could not refcue himfelf without ftriving alfo for 
Orleans, whom he defpifed, while he made ufe of his 
fortune. — In fliort, Orleans was but half illuminated at 
this tiine, and hoped to be King or R.egent. 

Yet he was deeply verfed in the preparatory leflbns of 
Iliuminatifm, and well convinced of its fundamental 
truths. He was well afiured of the great influence of the 
ivomcn in fociety, and he employed this influence like 
a true difciple of Weilhaupt. Above three hundred 
nymphs from the Purlieus of the Palais Royal were 
provided with ecus and J^ouis d'ors, by his grand procu- 
reur the Abbes Sieves, and were fent to meet and to il- 
luminate the two battalions of the Regiment de Flandre^ 
who were coming to Verfailles for the proteftion of the 
Royal Family. The privates of one of thefe regiments 
came and informed their officers of this attempt made on 
their loyalty. — 45,000 livres were given them at St. 
Deny's, to niake them difband themfelves — and the poor 
lads were at firft dazzled by the name of a fum that was 
not familiar to them — but when fome thinking head a- 
mong them told them that it only amounted to two Louis 
d'ors a-piece, they difclofed the bribery. They were 
then offered 90,000, but never faw it. (Depofitions at 
the Chatelet, No. 317.) Mademoifelle Therouane, the 
favorita of the day at the Palais Royal, was the moft 
aQive perfon of the armed mob from Paris, dreffed en 
Aviazonne, v/ith all the elegance of the opera, and turn- 
ed many young heads that day which were afterwards 
taken off by the guillotine. The Duke of Orleans ac- 
knowledged, before his death, that he had expended 
above L. 50,000 Sterling in corrupting the Gardes Fran- 
^oijes. The armed mob which came from Paris to Ver- 
sailles on the 5ih of OQober. importuning the King {'en: 


bread, bad their pockets filled with crown-pieces ; and 
Orleans was feen on that day by two gentlemen, with a 
bag of money lb heavy that it was faftened to his clothes 
with a ilrap, to hinder it from being opprefTive, and to 
keep it in fuch a pofition that it Ihould be accelTible in 
an inflant. (See the Depofitions at the Chatelet, No. 

But fuch was the contempt into which his grofs profli- 
gacy, his cow^ardice, and his niggardly difpafition, had 
brought hira with all parties, that, if he had not been 
quite blinded by his wicked ambition, and by his im- 
placable rel'entment of fome bitter taunts he had gotten 
from the King and Queen, he muft have feen very early 
that he was to be facrificed as foon as he had ferved the 
purpofes of the faftion. At pre fen t, his afiiflance was 
of the utmoll confequence. His immenfe fortune, much 
above three millions Sterling, was almoft exhaufted 
during the three firfl; years of the Revolution. But 
(what was of more confequence) he had ahnolt unbound- 
ed authority among the Free Malbns. 

In this country we have no conception of the autho- 
rity of a National Grand Mailer. When Prince Fer- 
dinand of Brunfvv'ick, by great exertions among tl>e jar- 
ring fefts in Germany, had got himfelf elected Grand 
Mafter of the Slrici Ohjervanz^ it gave ferious alarm to 
the Emperor, and to all the Princes of Germany, and 
contributed greatly to their connivance at the attempts 
of the Illuminati to difcredit that party. In the great ci- 
ties of Germany, the inhabitants paid more rcfpeft to 
the Grand Maiter of the Mafons than to their refpeftive 
Princes. The authority of the D. of Orleans in France 
vas dill greater, in confequence of his employing his for- 
tune 10 luDDort it. About ei:iht vcars before the Re- 



rolution he had (not without much intrigue and many 
bribes and promifes) been elefted Grand Mafter of 
France, having under his directions all the Improved 
Lodges. The whole Affociation was called the Grand 
Orient de la France,%nd in 1785 contained 266 of tbefe 
Lodges (fee Fr-eymaurerif'che Z&itung, Neuivied, ^1^7-) 
Thus he had the management of all thofe Secret Socie- 
ties ; and the licentious and irreligious fentiments which 
were currently preached there, were fure of his hearty 
concurrence. The fame intrigue which procured him 
the fupreiTie chair, mud have hlled the Lodges .with his 
dependents and emiiTaries, and thefe men could not bet- 
ter earn their pay, than by doing their utmoll to propa- 
gate i;ifidelityj immorality, and impurity of manners. 

But fomething more was wanted : Difrefpeft for the 
higher Orders of the State, and difloyalty to the Sove- 
reign. — It is not fo eafy to conceive how tliele fenti- 
ments. and particularly the latter, could meet with tole- 
ration, and even encouragement, in a nation noted for 
its profeffions of veneration for its Monarch, and for the 
pride of its Noblefie. Yet I am certain, that fuch doc- 
trines were habitually preached in the Lodges of Phila- 
kthes, and Amis Reunis dc la VeriU. That they Ihoukl 
be very current in Lodges of lovv'bom Literati, and 
other Bredrren in inferior ftations, 13 natural, and I have 
already faid enough on this head. But the French Lodg- 
es contained many gentlemen in eafy, in affluent circum- 
Ranees. I do not expe8: fuch CQ^nfidence in my affer- 
tions, that even in thefe the fame opinions v/efe very 
prevalent. I was therefore mrucbpleafed with a piece of 
information which I got while thefe fheeu \rerc printing 
cfF, which corroborates my aiTertions. 


This is a performance called La voile retiree^ ou k Se- 
cret de la Revolution expliquc. par la Fj-anc Magonnerie. 
It was written by a Mr. Lefranc, Prefident of the Semi- 
nary of the Eudi/ls at Caen in Normandy, and a fecond 
edition was publiflied at Paris in 1792. The author was 
butchered in the mafiacre of September. He fays, that 
on the death of a friend, who had been a very zealous 
Mafon, and many years Mafter of a refpeQable Lodge, 
he found among his papers a colle61ion of Mafonic wri- 
tings, containing the rituals, catechifms, and fymbols of 
every kind, belonging to a long train of degrees of Free 
Mafonry, together with many difcourfes delivered in 
diiFerent Lodges, and minutes of their proceedings. The 
perufal filled him with aftonifliment and anxiety. For 
he found that doSrines were taught, and maxims of con- 
dufct were inculcated, which v/ere fubverfive of religion 
and of all good order in the flate ; and which not only 
countenanced diiloyalty and fedition, but even invited 
to it. He thought thcrn fo dangerous to the ftate, that 
he fent an account of them to the ArchbiOiop of Paris 
long before the Revolution, and always hoped that that 
Reverend Prelate wouJd reprefent the matter to his Ma- 
jefty's Miniders, and that they would put an end to the 
meetings of this dangerous Society, or would at leaft re- 
ftrain them from fuch excefTes. But he was difappoint- 
ed, and therefore thought it his duty to lay them be- 
fore the public* 

* Had the good man been fpared biit a few montlis, his furprife 
at this -negledi: would have ceafed. For, on die 19th of November 
1793, ^^'^^ Archbifhop of Paris came to the Bar of the Affembly, 
accompanied by his Vicar and eleven other Clergymen, who there 
renounced their Chriftianity and their clerical vows ; acknowledg- 
ing that they had played the villain for many years againft their 
confcicnces, teaching what they knew to be a lie, and were now re- 
iblved to be honeil: men. The Vicar indeed had behaved like it 


Mr. Lefranc fays exprefsly, that this fiiocking per- 
verfion of Free Mafonry to fcditious purpofcs was, in a 
great meafure, but a late thinf^, and was chiefly broucrht 
about by the agents of the Grand Matter, the Duke of 
Orleans. He was, however, of opinion that the whole 
Mafonic Fraternity was hoUile to Chriftianity and la 
good morals, and that it was the contrivance of the great 
fchifmatic Fauflus Socinus, who being terrified by the 
fate of Servetus, at Geneva, fell on this method of pro- 
mulgating his dodrines among the great in fecrct. This 
opinion is but ill fupported, and is incon::patible with 
many circumftances in Free Mafonry — But it is out of 
our way at prefent. Mr. Lefranc then takes particular 
notice of the many degrees of Chivalry cultivated in the 
Lodges, and fliows how, by artful changes in the fuc- 
cellive explanations of the fame fymbols, the dottrines 
of Chriftianity, and of all revealed religion, are com- 
pletely exploded, and the Philofophe Inconmt becomes 
at laft a profeffed Atheift. — He then takes notice of the 
political dodrines which are in like manner gradually 
unfolded, by which " patriotifm and loyalty to the 
Prince are declared to be narrow principles, inconfiftent 
with univerfal benevolence, and v.'ith the native an«d im- 
prefcriptible rights of man ; civil fubordination is atlual 
oppreffion, and Princes are ex officio ufurpers and ty- 
rants." Thefe principles be fairly deduces from the 
Catechifms of the Chevalier du Soleil, and of the Philo- 
fophe Inconivd. He then proceeds to notice more parti- 
cularly the intrigues of the Duke of Orleans. From 
thefe it appears evident that his ambitious views and 
hopes had been of long Handing, and that it was entirely 

true Illumhiatus feme time before, by running cfF'vvith another man's 
wife and his ftrcng box. — None of them, hov/ever, feom to have 
attained the higher myi^.eries, for tliey were all guillotined notlono^ 



by his fupport and encouragement that fedittous doc- 
trines were permitted in the Lodges. Many noblemen 
and gentlemen were difgufted and left thefc Lodges, and' 
advantage was taken of their dMehce. to impj-ove the 
Lodges Piill more, that is, to make them ftill more anar- 
chical and feditious. Numbers of paltry fcribblers who 
haunted the Palais Royal, were admitted into the Lodg- 
es, and there vented their poifonous doftrines. The 
Duke turned his chief aitention to the French guards, in- 
troducing many of the privates and inferior officers into 
the obfcure and even the more refpeftable Le^.ges, fo 
that the officers v;ere frequently difguiled in the Lodges 
by the infolent behaviour of their own foldiers, under 
the ma& of Mafonic Brotherhood and Equality — and 
this behaviour became not unfrequent even out of doors. 
He afferts with great confidence that the troops were 
much corrupted by thefe intrigues — and that when they 
fometimes declared, on fervice, that they would not fire 
on their Brethren^ the phrafe had a particular reference 
to their Mafonic Fraternity, becaufe they recognifed 
many of their Brother Mafons in every crowd. — And 
the corruption was by no means confined to Paris and 
its neighbourhood, but extended to every place in the 
kingdom where there was a Municipality anfd a Mafon 

Mr. LeHanc then turns our attention to many peculia 
rities in the Revolution, which have a refemblance to the 
pra8;ices in Free Mafonry. Not only was the arch re- 
bel the Duke of Orleans the Grand Mafter, but the chief 
actors in the Revolution, Mirabeau, Condorcet, Ro- 
chefoucault, and others, were didinguifiied office-bear- 
ers in the grreat Lodges. He favs that the diftribution 
of France into departments, diftri6ls, circles, cantons, 
<&c. is perfeflly fimilar, with the fame denominations; to 


a diftribution which he had remarked in the correfpon- 
dence of the Grand Orient.* — The Prefident's hat in 
the National AfTembly is copied from that of a Tres 
Vene7-ablc Grand Maitrc. — The fcarf of a Municipal 
Officer is the fame with that of a Brother Apprentice. — 
When the Aflembly celebrated the Revolution in the 
Cathedral, they accepted of the highefl; honors of Ma- 
fonry by pafiing under the Arch of Steel, formed by the 
drawn fwords of two ranks of Brethren. — Alfo it is wor- 
thy of remark, that the National AiTembly protefted 
the meetings of Free Mafons, while it peremptorily pro- 
hibited every other private meeting. The obligation of 
laying afide all ftars, ribbands, croffes, and other ho- 
norable diftinQions under the pretext of Fraternal Equa- 
lity, was not merely a prelude, but was intended as a 
preparation for the deftruftion of all civil diftinQions, 
which took place almoft at the beginning of the Revo- 
lution — and thejirfc propofal of afurrender, fays Mr» 
Lefranc, was made by a zealous Mafon. — He farther ob- 
ferves, that the horrible and fanguinary oaths, the dag- 
gers, death-heads, crofs-bones, the imaginary combats 
wiih the murderers of Hiram, and many other gloomy 
ceremonies, have a natural tendency to harden the heart, 
to remove its natural difguft at deeds cf horror, and 
have paved the way for thofe fhocking barbarities which 
have made the name of Frenchman abhorred over all 
Europe. Thefe deeds w^ere indeed perpetrated by a 
mob of fanatics; but the principles were promulgated 
and follered by perfons who ftyle themfelves philofo- 

* I cannot help obferving, that it is perfeftly nmilar to the ar- 
rangement and dsnominaticns ^vhich appear in the fecret correi- 
pondence of the Bavarian Illuminatl. 

O o 


I fee mare evidence of thefe important fafts in ano- 
tlier book juft publiihed by an emigrant gentleman (Mr. 
Latocnaye.) He confirms my repeated aifertions, that 
all the irreligious and feditious dotlrines were the fub- 
je£ls of perpetual harangues in the Mafon Lodges, and 
that all the principles of the Revolution, by which the 
public mind was as it were fet on fire, were nothing but 
enthufiaftic amplifications of the common-place cant of 
Free Mafonry, and arofe naturally out of it. He even 
thinks " that this muji of necejfity be the cafe in every 
country where the minds of the lower clafles of the State 
are in any way confiderably fretted or irritated; it is al- 
moil impoffible to avoid being drawn into this vortex, 
whenever a difcontented mind enters into a Mafon 
Lodge. The dale ftory of brotherly love, which at 
another time would only lull the hearer afleep, now 
makes him prick up his ears, and liften with avidity to 
the filly tale, and he cannot hinder fretting thoughts from 
continually rankling in his mind." 

Mr. Latocnaye fays exprefsly, " That notwithftand- 
ing the general contempt of the public for the Duke of 
Orleans, his authority as Grand Mafter of the Mafons 
gave him the greateft opportunity that a feditious mind 
could defire for helping forward the Revolution. He 
had ready to his hand a connected fyflem of hidden So- 
cieties, protefted by the State, habituated to fecrecy 
and artifice, and already tinged with the very enthufiafm 
he wifhed to infpire. Li thefe he formed political com- 
mittees, into which only his agents were admitted. He 
filled the Lodges with the French guards, whom he cor- 
rupted with money and hopes of preferment ; and by 
means of the Abbe Sieves, and other emiffaries, they 
were harangued with all the fophiflical declamation, or 
cant of Mafonry»". 


Mr. Latocnaye fays, that all this was peculiar to the 
Lodges of the Grand Orient ; but that there were many 
(not very many, if we judge by the Neuwied almanac, 
which reckons only 289 in all France in 1784, of which 
266 were of the Grand Orient) Lodges who continued- 
on the old plan of amufmg themfelves with a little fo- 
lemn trilling. He coincides with Mr. Lefranc in the 
opinion that the awful and gloomy rituals of Mafonry, 
and particularly the fevere trials of confidence and fub-" 
miffion, muft have a great tendency to harden the heart,. 
and fit a man for atrocious anions. No one can doubt 
of this who reads the following inftance ; 

" A candidate for reception into one of the highed 
Orders, after having heard many threatenings denounced 
againfl; all who fhould betray the Secrets of the Order, 
was condu8:ed to a place where he faw the dead bodies 
of feveral who were faid to have fuffered for fheir trea- 
chery. He then faw his own brother tied hand and foot, 
begging his mercy and interceOTion. He was informed 
that this perfon was about to fuffer the punifhment due 
to this ofience, and that it was referved for him (the can- 
didate) to be the inftrument of this juft vengeance, and 
that this gave him an opportunity of manifefting that he 
was completely devoted to the Order. It being obfcrv- 
ed that his countenance gave figns of inward horror (the 
perfon in bonds imploring his mercy all the while) he 
was told, that in order to fpare his feelings, a bandage 
fhould be put over his eyes. A dagger was then put in- 
to his right hand, and being hood-winked, his left hand 
was laid on the palpitating heart of th« criminal, and he 
was then ordered to drike. He indantly obeyed ; and 
when the bandage was taken from his eyes, he faw that 
it was- a lamb that he had ftabbed. Surely fuch trials and 
fachv/anton cruelty are only fit for training confpirators.'" 


Mr, Latocnaye adds, that " when he had been initia- 
ted, an old gentleman afked him what he thought of the 
whole ?" He anfwered, " A great deal of noife, and 
much nonfenfe." " Nonfenfe, faid the other, don't 
judge fo rafhly, young man ; I have worked thefe twen- 
ty-five years, and the farther I advanced, it interefted me 
the more ; but I ftopped fliort, and nothing (hall prevail 
on me to advance a flep farther." In another conver- 
fation the gentleman faid, " I imagine that my ftoppage 
was owing to my refufal about nine years ago, to liften to 
fome perfons who' made to me, out of the Lodge, pro- 
pofals which were feditious and horrible ; for ever fince 
that time I have remarked, that my higher Brethren treat 
me with a much greater referve than they had done be- 
fore ; and that, under the pretext of further inftru6lion, 
they have laboured to confute the notions which I had 
already acquired, by giving fome of the mod delicate 
fubjefts a different turn. I faw that they wanted to re- 
move fome fufpicions which I was beginning to form 
concerning the ultimate fcope of the whole." 

I imagine that thefe obfervations will leave no doubt 
in the mind of the reader with refpeft to the influence 
of the fecret Fraternity of Free Mafonry in the French 
Revolution, and that he will allow it to be highly pro- 
bable that the infamous Duke of Orleans had, from the 
beginning, entertained hopes of mounting the throne of 
France. It is not my province to prove or difprove 
this point, only I think it no lefs evident, from many 
circumftances in the tranfaftions of thofe tumultuous 
days, that the active leaders had quite diflerent views, 
and were impelled by fanatical notions of democratic fe- 
licity, or, more^ probably, by their own ambition to be 
the movers of this vafl: machine, to overturn the ancient 
government, and erecl a republic, of which they hoped 


to be the managers.* Mirabeau had learned when in 
Germany, that the principles of anarchy had been well 
digefted into a fyftem, and therefore wifhed for fome in- 
flruclion as to the fubordinate detail of the bufmefs, and 
for this purpofe requeued a deputation from the Illur- 

In fuch a caufe as this, we may be certain that no or- 
dinary perfon would be fent. One of the deputies was 
Amelius, the next perfon in the order to Spartacus and 
Philo, His worldly name was Johann. J. C. Bode, at 
Weinpar, privy-counfellor to the Prince of Hefle-Darm- 
ftadt (See Fragment e der Biagraphie dcs verjiorbenei- 
Freyhtrr Bode in Weimar^ mit zuverlajjigzn Urkunderii 
^vo. Riom. 1795. See al fo Endlichc Shickfall dcr Frey- 
maurerey, 1794; S-Uo Wiener Zeilfchrift fur ijg^.) — 
This perfon has played a principal part in the whole 
fcheme of Illumination. He was a perfon of <:onfidera- 
ble and fliowy talents as a writer. He had great talents 
for converfation, and had kept good company. With 
relpecl to his myftical character, his experience was great. 
He was one of the Templar Mafons, and among them 

* The depofidons at the Ch.itelet, which I have ali'ead'/ quoted, . 
give repeated and unequivocal proofs, that he, with a conlidera- 
ble number of the deputies of the National AiTemiily, had formed 
this plot before the 5th of Odtober 1789. That trial was condu'ft- 
ed in a ftrange manner, parti 5^ out of refped for the Royal F.itnriY» 
which ftill had feme hearts aileftionately attached to it, and to thi 
monarchy, and partly by reafon of the fears of the members of this 
court. There was now no fafety for any perfon who di&red from 
tlie opinion of the frantic populace of Paris. The chief pcir.ts of 
accufation were written in a fchedule which is net pubiiihed, 'ar.d 
the witne/Tes were ordered to depofe on thefe in one general If' es or 
or No 5 fo that it is only the leait important part cl the evidence 
that has been printed. I am well informed that the whole of k if, 
carefully prefsrved, and will cue day ?.ppear^ 


was Eques a Liliis Convallium. He had fpeculated 
much about the origin and hiftory of Mafonry, and when 
at the Willemlbad convention, was converted to lUumi- 
natifm. He was the great inftigator of Nicholai, Ge- 
dicke, and Biefter, to the hunt after Jefuits, which fo 
much occupied them, and fuggefted to Nicholai his jour- 
ney through Germany. Leuchtfenring, \vhom I men- 
tioned before, was only the letter-carrier between Bode 
and thefe three authors. He was juft fuch a man as 
Weifhaupt wiflied for ; his head filled with Mafonic fa- 
naticifm, attaching infinite importance to the frivolities 
of Mafonry, and engaged in an enthufiaftic and fruitlefs 
refearch after its origin and hiftory. He had coUetled, 
however, fuch a number of archives (as they were called) 
of Free Mafonry, that he fold his manufcript to the 
Duke of Saxe Gotha (into whofe fervice Weifhaupt en- 
gaged himfelf when he was driven from Bavaria) for 1500 
dahlers. This little anecdote fliows the high importance 
attributed to thefe matters by perfons of whom we fhould 
expeSl better things. Bode was alfo a mofl determined 
and violent materialifl. Befides all thefe qualities, fo 
acceptable to the Illuminati, he was a difcontented 
Templar Mafon, having been repeatedly difappointed of 
the preferment which he thought himfelf entitled to. 
When he learned that the firfl operations of the Illumi- 
nati were to be the obtaining the fole direftion of the 
Mafon Lodges, and of the whole Fraternity, his hopes 
revived of rifmg to fome of the Commanderies, which 
his enthufiafm, or rather fanaticifm, had made him hope 
ta fee one day regained by the Order — but when he 
found that the next and favorite object was to root out 
the StriH Ohfervanz altogether, he ftarted back. But 
Philo faw that the underftanding (fhall we call it) that 
can be dazzled with one whim, may be dazzled with 
another, and he now attached him to liluminatifm, by a' 


magnificent difplay of a world ruled by the Order, and 
conduced to happinefs by means of Liberty and Equa- 
lity. This did the bufinefs, as we fee by the private 
correfpondence, where Philo informs Spartacus of his 
firft difficulties with Amelius. Amelius was gained over 
in Auguft 1782, and we fee by the fame correfpondence, 
that the greateft affairs were foon entrufted to him — he 
was generally employed to deal with the great. When a 
Graf or a Baron was to be wheedled into the Order, Ame- 
lius was the a^ent. — He was alfo the chief ODerator in 

O 1. 

all their contefts with the Jefuits and the Rofycrucians. 
It was alfo Bode that procured the important acceffion 
of Nicholai to the Order. This he brought about 
through Leuchtfenring ; and laftly, his numerous con- 
nexions among the Free Mafons, together with Knigge's 
influence among them, enabled the Illuminati to worm 
themfeives into every Lodge, and at iail gave them al- 
moft the entire command of the Fraternity. 

Such was the firft of the deputies to France. The 
other was a Mr. Buffche, called in the Order Bayard ; 
therefore probably a man of refpeQable chara6ler ; for 
moft of Spartacus's names were fignificant, like his own. 
He was a military man, Lieutenant-Colonel in the fcrvice 
of Heffe-Darmftadt. This man alfo was a difcontented 
Templar Mafon, and his name in that Fraternity had 
been Eques a Fontibus Ere?ni. He was Illuminated by 
Knigge. He had alfo been unfuccefsful both at court 
and in the field, in both of which fituations he had been 
attempting to make a diftinguifhed figure. He, as well 
as Bode, were immerfed in debts. They were therefore 
juft in the proper temper for Cofmo-political enterprife. 

They went to Paris in the end of 1788, while the 
Notables were fitting, and all Paris was giving advide. 


The alarm that M'as raifed about Animal Magnetlfm, 
v;hich was indeed making much noife at that time, and 
particularly in Paris, was affigned by them as the great 
inotive of the journey. Bode alfo faid that he was anx- 
ious to learn what were the correftions made on the fyf- 
lem of the Chevaliers Bienjaijants. They had taken 
that name at firft, to fcreen themfelves from the charges 
againft them under the name of Templars. They had 
corrcQed fomething in their fyftem when they took the 
name Philalethes. And now when the fchifms of the 
Fhilalethes were healed, arid the Brethren again united 
under the name of Arras Reunis^ he fufpefted that Je- 
fuits had interfered ; and becaufe he had heard that the 
principles of the Amis Reunis were very noble, he wifii- 
ed to be more certain that they were purged of every 
thing Jefuitical. 

The deputies accordingly arrived at Paris, and im- 
rTicdiately obtained admiOion into thefe two Fraternities.* 
They found both of them in the ripeft ftate for Illumi- 
nation, having fliaken off all the cabaliftical, chemical, 
and myfiical whims that had formierly difhurbed them, 

* To prevent interruptions, ImayjuO: mention here the autho- 
rities for this journey and co-operation of the two deputies. 

1. Ein lu'icht'iger Atilfchlufs uher sin noch ivenig bekanntt Veranhf- 
fting der Franzojchm Re'voiutlon, in the Vienna Zeitfchrift for I793r 

2. EiidUche Shlcifall des Freymaurer-Ordens, 1794, p. 1 9. 

3. Neuejle Arbeitung des Spartacus und Philoy Munich ^ 1793? P* ^S^ 
— 154. 

4. Hlftorifche Nachrkhten uber die Franc Revolution 1792, von Gir- 
tanner, var. he. 

5. Revolutions Almanachfur I'jgz — 4. GoUingen, var. loc. 

6i Beytrage %ur Biographie des verflorbenes Frey-Herr v Boae, 1754« 
7. Magazin des Liter atur et Kiwjly for 1792, 3, 4, &c. &;c. 


and would now take up too much of their time. They 
"weienowcuhivating with great zeal the philofbphico-po- 
litical doftrines of univerfal citizenfhip. Their leaders, 
■to the number of twenty, are mentioned by name in the 
Bedin Monatfchrift for 1785, and among them are fe- 
veral of the firft atlors in the French Revolution. But 
this is nothing diftinBive, becaufe perfons of all opi- 
nions were Mafons. 

The Amis Reunis were little behind the Illuminati in 
<5very thing that was irreligious and anarchichal, and had 
ho inclination for any of the formalities of ritual, &:c. 
They were already fit for the higher myfteries, and only 
wanted to learn the methods of bufmefs which had fuc- 
ceeded fo Well in fp reading their do6irines and maxims 
over Germany, Befides, their do6lrines had not been 
digefted into a fyftem, nor had the artful methods of 
leading on the pupils from bad to worfe been praclifed. 
^MDrhitherto, each individual had vented in the Lodges 
his own opinions, to unburden his own mind, and the 
Brethren liftened for inftruQion and mutual encourage- 
ment. Therefore, when Spartacus's plan was commu- 
nicated to them, they faw at once its importance, in all 
its branches, fuch as the ufe of the Mafon Lodges, to 
filh for Minervals — the rituals and ranks to entice the 
young, and to lead them by degrees to opinions and 
meafures, which, at firft fight, would have fhocked 
them. The firm hold which is gotten of the pupils, and 
indeed of all the inferior clafTes, by their reports in the 
courfe of their pretended training in the knowledge of 
themfelves and of other men — and, above all, the pro- 
vincial arrangement of the Order, and the clever fubor- 
dination and entire dependence on a fele6l band or Pan- 
dsemonium at Paris, which fhould infpire and dire6t'the 


^vhole. — I think (although I have not exprefs aflertionff 
of the fa8;) from the fubfequent conduct of the French 
revolvers, that even at this early period, there were ma^ 
ny in thofe focieties who were ready to go every length 
propofed to them by the Ilkiminad, fuch as the aboli- 
tion of royalty and of all privileged orders, as tyrants by 
nature, the annihilation and robbery of the priefthood, 
the rooting out of Chriftianity, and the introduction of 
Atheifm, or a philofophical chimera which they were to 
call Religion. Mirabeau had often fpoken of the laft 
branch of the Illuminated principles, and the converfa- 
tions held at Verfailles during the awful paufes of the 5th 
of 08ober (which are to be feen in the evidence before 
the Chatelet in the Orleans procefs) can hardly be fup- 
pofed to be the fancies of an accidental mob. 

Mirabeau was, as I have faid, at the head of this de- 
mocratic party, and had repeatedly faid, that the only 
ufe of a King was to fervc as a pageant, in order to gi^e 
weight to public meafures in the opinion of the popu- 
lace. — And Mr. Latocnaye fays, that this party was 
very numerous, and that immediately after the impru- 
dent or madlike invitation of every fcribbler in a garret 
to give his advice, the party did not fcruplc to fpeak 
their fentiments in public, and that they were encourag- 
ed in their encomiums on the advantages or a virtuous 
republican government by Mr. Necker, who had a moft 
extravagant and childifh predileftion for the conftitution 
of Geneva, the place of his nativity, and was alfo much 
tinged with the Cofmo-political philofophy of the times. 
The King's brothers, and the Princes of the blood, pre- 
fented a memorial to his Majelty, which concluded by 
faying, that " the effervefcojice of the public opinions 
had come to fuch a height that the raoft dangerous pria- 
ciplesj imported from foreign parts, were avowed ia 


pTintwith perfeft impunity — that his Majefty had un- 
warily encouraged every fanatic to dictate to him, and 
to fpread his poifonous fentiments, in which the rights 
of the throne were not only difrefpefted, but were even 
difputed — that the rights of the higher clafTes in the ftate 
ran a great rifk of being fpeedily fupprefled, and that 
nothing would hinder the facred right of property from 
being ere long invaded, and the unequal diftribution of 
wealth from being thought a proper fubjeQ. of reform.*' 

When fuch was the ftate of things in Paris, it is plain 
that the bufmefs of the German deputies would be eafily 
tranfa6led. They were received with open arms by the 
Fhilaletkes, the Amis de la Verite, the Social ContraB, 
&c. and in the courfe of a very few weeks in the end of 
1788, and the beginning of 1789 (that is, before the 
end of March) the whole of the Grand Orient, includ- 
ing the Philalethec, Amis Reunis, Mariini/les, &c. had 
the fecrets of Illumination communicated to them. The 
operation naturally began with the Great National 
Lodge of Paris, and thofe in immediate dependence on 
it. It v/ould aifo feera, from many circuraPiances that 
t3ccurred to my obfervation, that the Lodges in Alface 
and Lorraine were illuminated at this time, and not long 
before, as I had imagined. Strafburg I know had been 
illuminated long ago, while Philo was in the Order. A 
circumftance ftrikes me here as of fome moment. The 
feds of Philalethes and Amis Reunis were refinements 
engrafted on the fyftem of the Chevaliers Bienfaijants at 
Lyons. Such refinements never fail to be confidcred 
as a fort of herefy, and the profeffors will be beheld 
with a jealous and unfriendly eye by fomc, who wilt 
pride themfelves on adhering to t'ne old faith. And the 
greater the fuccefs of the herefy, the greater will be the' 
ar.imofity between the parties. — May not this h-^Ip to 


explain the mutual hatred of the Parifians and the Ly- 
onnois, which produced the moft dreadful atrocities ever 
perpetrated on the face of the earth, and made a fham- 
bles and a defert of the fined city of France ? 

The firft proceeding by the advice of the deputies was 
the formation of a Political Committee in every Lodge. 
This committee correfpondcd with the dillant Lodges, 
and in it were difcuiTed and fettled all the pohtical prin- 
ciples which were to be inculcated on the members. 
The author of the N tut jit Arbuiung fays exprefsly, that 
" he was thoroughly inftrutted in this, that it was given 
in charge to thefe committees to frame general rules, and 
to carry through the great plan (grand ctuwt) of a ge- 
neral overturning of religion and government." The 
principal leaders of the fubfequent Revolution were 
members of thefe committees. Here were the plans 
laid, and they were tranfmitted through the kingdom by 
the Correfponding Committees. 

Thus were the ftupid Bavarians (as the French were 
once pleafed to call them) their inftru8.ors in the art of 
overturning the world. The French were indeed the 
^rft who put it in pra61ice. Thefe committers arofe 
from the Illuminati in Bavaria, who had by no means 
given over working ; and thefe committees produced 
the Jacobin Club. It is not a frivolous remark, that 
the Mafonic phrafe of the perfons who wifh to addrefs 
the Brethren, " (F. S. je dcmandc la paroU^ which the 
F. S. reports to the V. G. M. and which he announces 
to the Brethren thus, " Mtsfrcrts^frtrt ttl dtmande la 
parole^ la parolt lui tjl accordee,") is exaSlly copied by 
the Jacobin Club. There is furely no natural connec- 
tion between Free Mafonry ^nd Jacobinifm — but we 
fee the link — Illuminatifm,-- 


The office-bearers of one of the Lodges of Philalcthes 
in Paris were Martin, Willermooz (who had been depa- 
ly from the Chevaliers Bievjaijants to the Willerr.fbad 
Convention) Chappe, Minei, de la Henriere^ and 5^^;^- 
tier de VAnge.* In another (the ContraB Social) the 
political committee confilted of La Fayette, Condorcet^ 
Pethion, dWrleans, Abbe Bertholisj d' Aiguillon, Bailly^ 
Marq. de la Salle, Defprefmenil. This partciular Lodge 
had been founded and conduced by one De LnUre, an 
adventurer and cheat of the firft magnitude, who fonie^ 
times made a figure, and at other times was without a 
ihilling. At this very time he was a fpy attached to the 
©ffice of the police of Paris.t The Duke nf Orleans was 
Warden of the Lodge. The Abbe Sicyes was a Brother 
Orator, but not of this Lodge, nor (I think) of the former. 
It was probably of the one conducted by Mirabeau and 

* Minet was (I think) at this time a player. He was-fon of a 
furo-eon at Nantes — robbed his father and fled — enhfted in Holland 


— deferted and became fmuggler — was taken and burnt in tlie 
hand — became player, and married an aiflrefs — then became prieft 
' — and was made Billiop of Nantes by Couftard in difcharge of a 
debt of L. 500. Mr. Latocnaye- often faw Couftard kneel to him 
for benediction. It cannot be fuppofed that he was mnch venerat- 
c.l in his pontificals in his native city. — It feems Mine;, Minet, is 
the call of the chiiiiren to a, kitten — This was prohibited at Nantes, 
and many perfons whipped for the freedom ufed with his name. 

f He now (or very lately) keeps the bed company, and lives in 
elegance and affluence in London. 

yJitgur, fchtF.nohates medicus^ magusy omnia novit 

Grxculus efur'uns ; in calum jifjferts, ibit,^ 

Jngenlum velox audacia perdtta, fermo 

Promptus. Juvenal. 

* All fciences a hungry Frenchman knows, 
And bid him go to he^ — to hell he goes. 

johnfon's Tranjlallon. 


the Abbe Perigord. But it appears from the piece from 
sivhich I am at prefent borrowing, that Sieyes was prefent 
in the meetings of both Lodges, probably as vifiting Bro- 
ther, employed in bringing them to common meafures. 
I muft obferve, that the fubfequent conduft of fome of 
thefe men does not juft accord with my conjefture, that 
the principles of the lUuminati were adopted in their full 
extent. But we know that all the Bavarian Brethren 
were not equally illuminated, and it would be only co- 
pying their teachers if the clevereft of thefe their fcho- 
lars Ihould hold a.fanBumfan^orum among themfelves, 
without inviting all to the conference^ Obferve too 
that the chief leffon which they were now taking from 
the Germans was the method of doing bujinefs, of manag- 
ing their correfpondence, and of procuring and training 
pupils. A Frenchman does not think that he needs in- 
ilru6lion in any thing like principle or fcience. He is 
ready on all occauons to be the inftruftor. 

Thus were the Lodges of France converted in a very 
Ihort time into a fet of fecret affiliated focieties, corref- 
ponding with the mother Lodges of Paris, receiving 
from thence their principles and inllructions, and ready 
to rife up at once when called upon, to carry on the 
great work of overturning the ftate. 

Hence it has arifen that the French aimed, in the veny 
beginning, at overturning the whole world. In all the 
revolutions of other countries, the fchemes and plots 
have extended no farther than the nation where they took 
their rife. But here we have feen that they take in the 
whole world. They have repeatedly declared this in 
their manifeftos, and they have declared it by their cpn- 
duft. This is the very aim of the Illuminati. — Hence 
too may be explained how the revolution took place aL 


mofl; in a moment in every part of France. The revo- 
lutionary focieties were early formed, and were working 
in fecret before the opening of the National Aflembly, 
and the whole nation changed, and changed again, and 
again, as if by beat of drum. Thofe duly initiated in 
this myftery of iniquity were ready everywhere at a call. 
And we fee Weifnaupt's wifli accompJifhed in an unex- 
pe6led degree, and the debates in a club giving laiSvs to 
folemn alfemblies of the nation, and all France bending 
the neck to the city of Paris. The members of the club 
are lUuminati, and fo are a great part of their correfpon- 
dents. — Each operates in the (late as a Miiierval would 
do in the Order, and the whole goes on with fyllematic 
regularity. The fam.ous Jacobin Club was jufl one of 
thefe Lodges, as has been already obferved ; and as, 
among individuals, one commonly takes the lead, and 
contrives for the reft, fo it has happened on the prefent 
occafion, that this Lodge, fupported by Orleans and 
Mirabeau, was the one that ftepped forth and fhewed it- 
fclf to the world, and thus became the oracle of the par- 
ty ; and all the reft only echoed its difcourfes, and at 
laft allowed it to give law to the whole, and even to ruls 
the kingdom. It is to be remarked too that the found- 
ers of the club at Mejitz were lUuminati (Relig. Bege- 
benh. 1793. p. 448-) before the Revolution, and corref- 
ponded with another Lodge at Stralburg; and thefe two 
produced mighty effefls during the year 1790. In a 
performance called Mevioircs Pojihuines de Cvftine it is 
laid that when that General was bending his courfe to 
Holland, the lUuminati at Straiburg, Worms, and Spire 
immediately formed clubs, and invited him into th:it 
quarter, and, by going to Mentz and encouraging their 
Brethren in that city, they raifed a party againft the gar- 
rifon, and atluallv delivered up the place to the French 


A little book, juft now printed with the title Paragra- 
phen.^ fays, that Zimmerman, of whom I have fpokea 
more than once, went to France to preach liberty. He 
was employed as a milfionary of Revolution in Alface, 
vhere he had formerly been a moft fucccfsful miffionary 
<)f Illuminatifin. Of his former proceedings the follow- 
ing is a curious anecdote. Fie connefled himfelf with a 
highfy accompliihed and beautiful w^oman, whofe con- 
verfation had fuch charms, that he fays flie gained him 
near a hundred converts in Spire alone. Some perfons 
of high rank, and great exterior dignity of charafter, had 
felt more tender impreffions — and when the lady inform- 
ed them of certain confequences to their reputation, 
they were glad to compound matters with her friend Mr. 
Zimmerman, who either paffed for her hulband, or took 
the fcandal on himfelf. He made above 1500 Louis 
d'ors in this way. When he returned, as a preacher of 
Revolution, he i^ed to mount the pulpit with a fabre iri 
his hand, and bawl out, " Behold, Frenchmen, this is 
your God. This alone can fave you." The author 
adds, that when Cuftine broke into Germiany, Zimmer- 
man got admiffion to him, and engaged to deliver Man- 
heim into his hands. To gain this purpofe, he offered 
to fet fome corners of the city on fire, and affured him of 
fupport. Cuftine declined the offer. — Zimmerman ap- 
peared againft him before the Revolutionary Tribunal, 
and accufed him of treachery. to his caufe, — Cuftine's 
anfwer is remarkable. " Hardly," faid he, " had I fet 
my foot in Germany, when this man, and all the fools of 
his country, befieged me, and would have delivered up 
to me their towns and villages — What occafion had I to 
do any thing to Manheim, when the Prince was neutral ?''' 
Zimmerman found his full account in Robefpierre's 
bloody fway — but the fpurt of his atrocities w-as alfo the 
whole of Zimmerman's career. He was arrefled, but- 


again liberated, and foon after again imprifoned, after 
which I can learn no more of him. The fame thing is 
pofitively afierted in another performance, called Cri de 
la Raifon, and in a third, called Les Mafques arrachees, 
Obferve too, that it is not the clubs merely that are ac-. 
cufed of this treachery, but the Illuminati. De la Me- 
thcrie alfo, in his preface to the Journal de Phyftque for. 
1790, fays exprefsly that ^' the caufe and arms of France 
were powerfully fupported in Germany by a feftofphi-^ 
lofophers called the Illuminated." In "the preface td 
the Journal ^ox 1792, he fays, that " Letters and de- 
putations were received by the AfTembly from feveraf 
Correfponding Societies in England, felicitating them 
on the triumph of Reafon and Humanity, and promifm^ 
them their cordial affiflance." He read fome of thefd 
manifefts, and fays, that " one of them recoi^mehde<J 
ftrongly the political education of the children, who 
fhould be taken from the parents, and trained up for thd 
fl:ate." Another lamented the baleful influence of pro- 
perty, faying that " the efforts of the Afiembly wotfFd 
be fruitlefs, till tbe fence was removed with which th^ 
laws fo anxioufly fecured inor<iinate wealth. They 
fliould rather be direfted to the fupport of - talents and 
virtue ; bccaufe property would always fupport itfelf by 
the too great influence which it had in every corrupted 
ftate. The laws fhould prevent the too great accumu- 
lation of it in particular families." — In fliort, the coun- 
fel Was almofl verbatim what the Abbe CofTandey de- 
clared to have been the doftrine preached in the meetings 
of the Illuininati, which terrified him and his colleagues, 
and made them quit the Affociation. Anacharfis Cloots, 
born in PrufTian Weflphalia, a keen Illuminatus, came 
to Pari« for the" exprefs purpofe of forwarding the great 
zvarij and by intriguing in the ftyle of the- Ordef . he 


got himfelf made one of the Reprefentatives of the Na- 
tion. He feems to have been one of the completeft fa- 
natics in Cofmo-politifm, and juft fucha tool as Weif- 
haupt would choofe to employ for a coarfe and arduous 
job. He broke out at once into all the filly extrava- 
gance of the unthinking herd, and his whole language is 
juft the jargon of Illumination. Citizen of the World 
-r-Liberty and Equality, the imprefcriptible Rights of 
Man — Morality, dear Morality — Kings and Priefts are 
ufelefs things-^they are Depots and Corrupters, <&:c. — 
He declared himfelf an atheift, and zealoufly laboured 
to have atheifm eftabliOied by law. He conducted that 
farcical proc^ffion in the true ftyle of the moft childifh 
ritual of Philo, where counterfeited deputies from all 
quarters of the world, in the dreffes of their countries, 
came to congratulate the nation for its viBory over 
Kings and Priefts. It is alfo worthy of remark, that by 
this time Leuchtfenring, whom we have feen fo zealous 
an Illuminatus, after having been as zealous a Protef- 
tant, tutor of Princes, Hofrath and Hofmeifter, was 
now a fecretary or clerk in one of the Bufeaus of the 
National Aflerably of France. 

I may add as a finifliing touch, that the National Af- 
fcmbly of France was the only body of men that I have 
ever heard of who openly and fyftematically propofed 
to employ aflaflination, and to inftitute a band of patri- 
ots, who fliould exercife this profeftion either by fword, 
piftol, or poifon ; — and though the propofal was not 
completed, it might be confidered as the fentiments of 
the meeting ; for it was only delayed till it fliould be 
confidered how far it might not be imprudent, becaufe 
they might expcft reprifals. The Abbe Dubois enga* 
ged to poifon the Comte d'Artois ; but was himfelf rob- 
bed and poiibned by his accomplices.— There were 


fbi'-ong reafons for thinking that the Emperor of Germa-, 
ny v/as poifoned— and that Mirabeau was thus tricked 
by his pupil Orleans, alfo Madame de Favras and her 
foil. — This was copying the lUuminati very carefully. 

After all thefe particulars, can any perfon have a 
doubt that the Order of Illuniinati formally interfered in 
the French Revolution, and contributed greatly to its 
progrefs ? There is no denying the infolence and oppref- 
fion of the Crown and the Nobles, nor the mifery and 
{lavery of the people, nor that there were fufficient pro- 
vocation and caufe for a total change of meafures and of 
principles. But the rapidity with which one opinion 
was declared in every corner, and that opinion as quickly 
changed, and the change announced every where, and 
the perfeft conformity of the principles, and famenels 
of the language, even in arbitrary trifles, can hardly be 
explained in any other way. It may indeed be faid, 
" que les beaux genies fe rcncontrent — that wits jump. 
The principles are the fame, and the conduft of the 
French has been fuch as the Illuminati would have exhi- 
bited ; but this is all — the Illuminati no loilger exifted." 
Enough has been faid on this laft point already. — The 
fafts are as have been narrated. The Illuminati conti- 
nued as an Order, and even held affemblies, though 
not fo frequently nor fo formally as before, and though 
their Areopagus was no longer at Munich. But let us 
hear what the French them felves thought of the matter. 


In 1789, or the beirinning of 1790, a raanifefi was 
fent from the Grand National Lodge of Free Ma- 
fons (fo it is entitled) at Paris, figned by the Duke of Or- 
leans as Grand Majhr, addrefjed and fent to ihe Lodges 
in all the refpeBable cities of Europe, exhorting them to 
%mtefor thefupport of the French Revolution^ to gain U 


Jriendst defenders^ and dependents j and according to 
their opportmiities^ and the praBicahility of the things to 
kindle and propagate the fpirit of revolution through all 
lands. This is a mod important article, and deferves a 
very ferious attention. I got it firft of all in a work cal- 
led, Hochfle.wichtige Erinnerungen zur rechten Zeituher 
einige der allerernflhaftefen Angslegenheiten diefes Zcit^ 
alters, von L. A. Hoffmann, Vienna, 1795. 

The author of this work fays, '• That every thing h« 
advances in thefe memorandums is. confiftent with his 
own perfonal knowledge, and that he is ready to give 
convincing proofs of them to any refpedable perfon who 
will apply to him perfonally. He has already given 
fuch convincing documents to the Emperor, and to fe- 
veral Princes, that many of the machinations occafion- 
ed by this manifeflo have been detected and flopped; 
and he would have no fcruple at laying the whole before 
the public, did it not unavoidably involve feveral worthy 
perfons who had fulfered themfelves to be milled, and 
heartily repented of their errors." He is naturally (be- 
ing a Cathoiic) very feyere on the Proteftants (and in- 
deed he has much reafon) and by this has drawn on him- 
felf many bitter retorts. He has however defended him- 
felf againft all that are of any confequence to his good 
name and veracity, in a manner that fully convinces any 
impartial reader, and turns to the confufion of the flan- 

Hoffmann fays, that " he faw feme of thofe manifcfls ; 
that they were not all of one tenor, fome being addref - 
fed to friends, of whofe fupport they were already affur- 
ed." One very important article of their contents is 
£arnefl exhortations to eflablifli in every quarter fecret 
fchools of political education, and fcliools for the public 


tdiication of the children of the people^ under the direction 
of well-principled mafers ; and offers of pecuniary affif 
tancefor this purpofe^ and for the encouragernent of wri- 
ters in favor of the Revolution, and for indemnifying the 
patriotic bookfelUn who fiffer by their endeavours to fup- 
prefs publications which have an oppofite tendency. We 
know very well that the imrnenfe revenue of the Diike 
of Orleans was fcattered among all the rabble of the Pa- 
lais Royal. Can we doubt of its being ernployed in this 
manner ? Our doubts muft vanifli, when we fee that 
not long after this it was publicly faid in the National 
Aflembly " that this method was the moft effectual for 
accomplilliing their purpofe of fetting Europe in a 
flame." '• But much expence," fays the fpeaker, " will 
attend it, and much has already been employed, which 
cannot be named, becaufe it is given in fecret." The 
Affembly had given the Illumination war-hoop — " Peace 
xvith cottages, but war with palaces.'' — A pouvoir revolu' 
tionnaire is mentioned, which fuperfedes all narrow 
thoughts, all ties of morality. Lequinio publilhes the 
moil deteftable book that ever iffued from a printini; 
prefs, Les Prejiiges vamcus, containing all the princi- 
ples, and expreffed in the very words of lUuminatifm. 

Hoffmann fays, that the French Propaganda had many 
■emiffaries in Vienna, and many Friends whom he could 
point out. Mirabeau in particular had many connection j 
in Vienna, and to the certain knowledge of iJoftmann, 
carried on a great correfpondence in cyphers. The 
progrefs of Illumination had been very great in the Auf- 
ftrian States, and a ftatefman gave him accounts of their 
proceedings (qui font redrefjer les cheveux) which make 
one's hair fland on end. '' I no longer wonder," fays 
he, " that the Ncuefe Arbutung des Spartacus und Philo 
was forbidden. O ye almighty lUaniinatiy what can 


you not accomplifli by your ferpent-like infinuation and 
cunning !" Your leaders fay, " This book is danger- 
ous, becaufe it will teach wicked men the moft refined 
methods of rebellion, and it muft never get into the 
hands of the common people. They have faid fo with 
the moil impudent face to fome Princes, who did not 
perceive the deeper-laid reafon for fuppreffmg the book. 
The leaders of the Illuminati are, not without reafon, in 
anxiety, left the inferior claffes of their own Society 
fliould make jull reprifals for having been fo bafely 
tricked, by keeping them back, and in profound igno- 
rance of their real defigns ; and for working on them, 
by the very goodnefs of their hearts, to their final ruiii 3 
and left the Free Mafons, whom they have alfo abufed, 
fhould think of revendngr themfelves, when the matchlefs 
villany of their deceivers has been fo clearly expofed. 
It is in vain for them to talk of the danger of inftrufting 
the people in the methods of fomenting rebellion by this 
book. The aims are too apparent, and even in the 
neighbourhood of Regenfburg, where the ftrength of the 
Jlluminati lay, every perfon faid aloud, that the Illumi- 
natifm difcovered by this book was High Treafon, and 
the moft unheard-of attempt to annihilate every religion 
and every civil government." He goes on : " In 1790 
I was as well acquainted with the fpirit of the Illuraina- 
tion-fyftem as at prefent, but only not [o documented by 
their conftitutional afts, as it is now by the Neiijle Ar- 
beitung des Spartacus und Philo. My mafonic connec- 
tions were formerly extenfive, and my publication enti- 
tled Eighteen Paragraphs concerning Free Mafonry, 
procured me more acquaintance with Free Mafons of 
the greateft worth, and of Illuminati equally upright, 
perfons of refpedability and knowledge, who had difco- 
vered and repented the trick and inveigling cqndu6l of 
the Order. All of us jointly fwore oppofition to the //- 


hcminati, and my friends confidered me as af^proper in- 
ilrument for this purpofe. To whet my zeal, they put 
papers into my hands which made me fliudder, and raif- 
ed my diflike to the higheft pitch. I received from them 
lirts of the members, and among them faw names which 
I lamented exceedingly. Thus ftood matters in 1 790, 
when the French Revolution began to take a ferious 
turn. The intelligent faw in the open fyftem of the Ja- 
cobins the complete hidden fyftem of the Illurninati. 
We knew that this fyftem included the whole world in 
its aims, and France was only the place of its firft explo- 
lion. The Propaganda works in every corner to this 
hour, and its emiifaries^run about in all the four quarters 
of the world, and are to be found in numben;,in every 
city that is a feat of government." 

" He farther relates how they in Vienna wanted to 
enlift him, and, as this failed, how they have abufed him 
even in the foreign newfpapers. 

" I have perfonal knowledge (continues he) that in 
Germany a fecond Mirabeau, Mauvillon, had propofed 
in detail a plan of revolution, entirely and precifely fuit- 
ed to the prefent ftate of Germany. This he circulated 
among feveral Free Mafon Lodges, amon^ all the Illu- 
minated Lodges which ftill remained in Germany, and 
through the hands of all the emiifaries of the Propagan- 
da, who had been already difpatched to the frontiers 
(vorpojlen) of every diftriB: of the empire, v/ith means 
for ftirring up the people." (N. B. in 1792 Mauvillon, 
finding abundant fupport and encouragement in the ap- 
pearance of things round him, when the French arms 
had penetrated every where, and their invitations to re- 
volt had met with fo hearty a reception from the difcon- 
tented in every ftate, came boldly forward, and, in the 


Brunfwick journal for March 1792, declared that "he 
heartily rejoiced in the French Revolution, wifhed it all 
fuccefs, and thought himfelf liable to no reproach when> 
he declared his hopes that a fimilar revolution would 
fpeedily take place in Germany."} 

In the Hamburgh Political Journal, Augufl, Sep- 
tember, and Oftober 1790, there are many proofs of 
the machinations of emiOaries from the Mafcn Lodges of 
Paris among the German Free Mafons — See pages 836, 
963, 1087, &c. It appears that a club has taken the 
name of Propaganda, and meets once a-week at leaft, 
in the form of a Mafon Lodge. It confifts of perfons 
of all \V( t ns, and is under the direction of the Grand 
Mafter, ttie Duke of Orl-eans. De Leutre is one of the 
Wardens. They have divided Europe into colonies, to 
which they give revolutionary names, fuch as the Cap, 
the Pike, the Lantern, &:c. They have minifters in- 
thefe colonies. (One is pointed out in Saxony, by 
marks which I preiume are well underftood.) A fecret 
prefs was found in Saxe Gotha, furnifhed with German 
types, which printed a feditious work called the Jour-' 
nal of HuTiianity. This journal was found in the morn- 
ingr, lying in the ftreets and highways. The houfe be- 
longed to an Illuminatus of the name of Duport, a pooi' 
fchoolmader — he w^as aflociated with another in Straf- 
burg, who was alfo an Illuminatus. — His name was 
Meyer, the writer of the Strafburg Newfpaper. He^ 
had been fome time a teacher in Salzmann's academy, 
who we fee was alfo an Illmninatus, but difpleafed with 
their proceedings almod at the nrft. (Private Corref- 

" I have perfonal knowledge (continues Profefibr 
Hoffmann) that in 179I; during the temporary dearth at 


Vienna, feveral of thefe emiffaries were bufy in corrupt- 
ing the minds of the poor, by telling them that in like 
manner the court had produced a famine in Pans in 1789. 
I detefted forae of them, and expofed them in my Pa- 
triotic Remarks on the prefent Dearth, and had the fa- 
tisfaftion of feeing my endeavours of confiderable effect." 

Surely thefe fa8;s fhow that the Anarchifts of France 
knew of the German Illuminati, and confided in tlieir 
fupport. They alfo knew to what particular Lodges 
they could addrefs themfelves with fafety and confix 
dence. — But what need is there of more argument, when 
we know the zeal of the Illuminati, and the unhoped for 
opportunity that the Revolution had given them of aft- 
iiig with immediate effetl in carrying on their great and 
darling work ? Can we doubt that they would eagerly 
put their hand to the plough ? And, to complete the 
proof, do we not know from the lifts found in the fecret 
correfpondence of the Order, that they already had 
Lodges in France, and that in 1790 and 1791, many 
Illuminated Lodges in Germany, viz. at Mentz, Worms,' 
Spire, Frankfort, aftually interfered, and produced 
great effe6ls. In Switzerland too they were no lefs ac- 
tive. They had Lodges at Geneva and at Bern. At 
Bern two jacobins were fentenced to feveral years im* 
prifonment, and among their papers were found their 
patents of Illumination. I alfo fee the fate of Geneva 
afcribcd to the operations of Illuminati refiding there by 
feveral writers — particularly by Girtanner, and by the 
Gottingen editor of the Revolution Almanac. 


I conclude this article with an extraft or two from 
the proceedings of the National AiTembly and Conven- 

^ r 


tion, which make it evident that their principles and their 
practice are precifely thofe of the llluminatij on a great 

When the afiumption of the Duchy of Savoy as an 
84th Department was debated, Danton faid to the Con- 

" In the moment that we fend freedom to a nation 
on our frontier, we mud fay to them, You muil have no 
more Kings — for if we are furrounded by tyrants, their 
coalition puts our own freedom in danger. — When the 
French nation fent us hither, it created a great commit- 
tee for the general infurretlion of the people." 

On the 19th of November 1792, it was decreed, 
*' That the Convention, in the name of the French na- 
tion, tenders help and fraternity to all people who would 
recover their liberty," 

On the 21ft of November, the Prefident of the Con- 
vention faid to the pretended deputies of the Duchy of 
Savoy, " Reprefentatives of an independent people, 
important to mankind was the day when the National 
Convention of France pronounced its fentence. Royal 
dignity is aholiflied. — From that day many nations will 
in future reckon the era of their political exiftence. — 
From the beginning of civil ellablifliments Kings have 
been in oppofuion to their nations — but now they rife 
up to annihilate Kings. — Rcafon, when fhe darts her 
rays into every corner, lays open eternal truths — She 
alone enables us to pafs fentence on defpots, hitherto 
the fcare-crow of other nations." 

But the mod diftin6l exhibition of principle is to be 
fcen in a report from the diplomatic comuiittcc; who 


were commifTioncd to deliberate on the condu6l which 
France was to hold with other nations. On this report 
was founded the decree of the 15th of December 1793. 
The Reporter addreffes the Convention as follows. 

" The Committees of Finance and War afk in the be- 
ginning, What is the objeft of the war which we have 
taken in hand ? Without all doubt the obj eel is the 


are the principles on which your declaration of -war is 
founded. All tyranny, all privilege, muft be treated as 
an enemy in the countries where we fet our foot. This 
is the genuine refult of our principles. — But it is not 
with Kings alone that we are to wage war — were thefe 
our fole enemies, we fhould only have to bring down 
ten or twelve heads. We have to fight with all their ac- 
complices, with the privileged orders, who devour and 
Jiave opprelTed the people during many centuries. 

We mud therefore declare ourfelves for a revolution- 
ary power in all the countries into which we enter (loud 
applaufes from the Affembly) — Nor need we put on the 
cloak of humanity — we difdain fuch little arts. — We 
muft clothe ourfelves with all the brilliancy of reafon, 
and all the force of the nation. W-e need not raaflv our 
principles — the defpots know ttiem already. The firil 
thing we muft do is to ring the alarum bell, for infurrec- 
tion and uproar. — We muft, in a folemn manner, let 
the people fee the baniihment of their tyrants and privi- 
leged cafts — othcrwife, the people, accuftomed to their 
fetters, will not be able to break their bonds. — It will 
effect nothing, merely to excite a rifing of the people — 
this would only be giving them words inftead of Handing 
%y ihera^ 


" And fince, in this manner, we ourfelves are the Re- 
volutionary Aminiftration, all that is againfl the rights of 
the people mufl; be overthrown, at our entry — We mull 
difplay our principles by adually deftroying all tyranny; 
and our generals, after having chafed away the tyrants 
and their fatellites, mud proclaim to the people that 
they have brought them happinefs ; and then, on the 
fpot, they muft fupprefs tithes, feudal rights, and every 
ipecies of fervitude." 

" But we fhall have done nothing if we flop here. 
Ariilocracy ftill domineers — we muft therefore fupprefs 
all authorities exifting in the hands of the upper claffes. 
— When the Revolutionary Authority appears, there 
iKuft nothing of the old eftablifhment remain. — A po- 
pular fyftem muft be introduced — every office muft be 
occupied by new funftionaries — and the Sanfculottes 
muft every where have a fhare in the Adminiftration. 

" Still nothing is done, till we declare aloud the pre- 
cjjion of our principles to fuch as want only a half free- 
dom. — We muft fay to them — If you think of compro- 
mifmg with the privileged cafts, we cannot fuffer fuch 
dealing with tyrants — They are our enemies, and we 
muft treat them as enemies, becaufe they are neither for 
Liberty nor Equality. — Show yourfelves difpofed to re- 
ceive a free conftitution — and the Convention will not 
only ftand by you, but will give you permanent fup- 
port ; we will defend you ag-ainft the vengeance of your 
tyrants, againft their attacks, and againft their return. — 
Therefore abolifii from among you the Nobles — and 
every ecclefiaftical and military incorporation. They 
are incompatible with Equahty.— Henceforward you 
are citizens, ail equal in rights — equally called upon to 
rukj to defend^ and to ferve your country. — The agents 


.of the French Republic will inftrucl and allifl you in 
forming a free conftitudon, and aflure you of happinefs 
and fraternity." 

This Report was loudly applauded, and a decree 
formed in precife conformity to its principles. — Both 
were ordered to be tranflated into all languages, and co- 
pies to be furnifhed to their generals, with orders to have 
them carefully difperfed in the countries which they in- 

And, in completion of thefe decrees, their armies 
found it eafy to colle8; as many difcoxJteiited or worih- 
lefs perfons in any country as fufficed for fetting up a 
tree of liberty. This they held as a fufficient call for 
iheir interference. — Sometimes they performed this ce- 
jemony themfeives — a reprefentation was eafily made 
up in the fame way — and then, under the nam(^ of a free 
conftitution, the nation was forced to acquicfce in a form 
dictated at the point of the bayonet, in which they had 
not the fmalleft liberty to choofe — and they were plun- 
dered of all they had, by way of corapenfating to France 
for the trouble fhe had taken. — And this they call Li- 
berty. — It needs no comment. — 

Thus I have attempted to prove that the preient aw.- 
ful lituation of Europe, and the general fermentation of 
the public mind in all nations, have not been altogether 
the natural operations of difcontent, oppreiTion, and mo- 
ral corruption, although thefe have been great, and have 
operated with fatal energy ; but that this political fever 
has been carefully and fylleraatically heightened by bo- 
dies of men, who profelfed to be the physicians of the 
State, and, while their open praftice employed cooling 
medicines, and a treatment which all approved, admi^if- 


tered in fecret the moft innammatory poifons, which they 
made up i'o as to flatter the difeafed fancy of the patient. 
Although this was not a plan begun, carried on, and 
completed by the fame perfons, it was undoubtedly an 
uniform and confident fcheme, proceeding on the fame 
unvaried principle, and' France undoubtedly now fmarts 
under all the woes of German Illumination. 

I beg leave to fuggeft a few thoughts, which may ena- 
ble us to draw feme advantage from this (hocking mafe 
of information. 

General ReJLeBions. 

I. I may obferve, in the firjl place, and I beg it may 
be particularly attended to, that in all thofe villainous 
machinations againfh the peace of the world, the attack, 
has been firfi: made on the principles of Morality and 
Religion. The confpirators faw that till thefe are ex- 
tirpated, they have no chance of fuccefs ; and their man< 
ncr of proceeding ihews that they confider Religion and 
Morality as infeparably connefted together. We learn 
much from this — Fa^ eft et ab ho jit doceri. — They en- 
deavour to defliroy our religious {entiments, by firll cor- 
rupting our morals. They try to inflame our paflions, 
that when the demands from this quarter become urgent, 
the reftraints of Religion may immediately come in fight, 
"and ftand in the way. They arc careful, on this occa-^ 
fion, to give fuch a view of thofe reftraints, that the real 
origin of them does not appear. — We are made to be- 
lieve that they have been altogether the contrivance of. 
Priefts anddefpots, in order to get the command of us. . 
They take care to fupport thefe alTertions by hQ.%. 


which, to our great fhame, and greater misfortune, are 
but too numerous. — Having now the paffions on their 
fide, they find no difficuky in perfuading the voluptuary, 
or the difcontented, that tyranny aftually exerted, or 
refolved on in future, is the fole oridn of religious re- 
flraint. He feeks no further argument, and gives him- 
felfno trouble to find any. Had he examined the mat- 
ter with any care, he would find himfclf jufl; brought 
back to thofe very feelings of moral excellence and mo- 
ral depravity that he wiftes to get rid of altogether ; and 
thefe would tell him that pure Religion does not lay a 
fmgle reftraint on us that a noble nature would not have 
laid on itfelf — nor enjoins a fingle duty which an ingenu- 
ous and warm heart would not be afliamed to find itfelf 
deficient in. He would then fee that all the fanctions 
of Religion are fitted to his high rank in the fcale of ex- 
igence. And the more he contemplates his future prof- 
pe6ls, the more they brighten upon his view, the more 
attainable they appear, and the more he is able to know 
what they may probably be. Having attained this hap- 
py flate of mind (an attainment in the power of any kind 
heart that is in earned in the enquiry) he will think that 
no punifliment is too great for the unthankful and grove- 
ling foul which can forego fuch hopes, and rejed thefe 
noble proffers, for the comparatively frivolous and aan- 
fitory gratifications of life. He is not frightened into 
worthy and virtuous conduft by fears of fuch meiirrd 
punilhment ; but, if not enticed into it by his high cx- 
peftations, he is, at leaft, retained in the paths of vir- 
tue by a kind of manly fhame. 

But all this is overlooked, or is kept out of Hghtj ni 
the inflruB-ions of IllumJnatifra. In thefe the eye muit 
be kept always direfted to the Defpot. Ti:iis is the bu;.^- 
bcarj and every thing is made to conneSl wiih prefoitor 


future tyranny and oppreffion — Therefore Religion is 
held out as a combination of terrors — the invention of 
ihe date-tools, the priefts. But it is not eafy to ftifle 
the fuggeftions of Nature — therefore no pains are fpared 
to keep them down, by encreafmg the uncertainty and 
doubts which arife in the courfe of ^H fpeculations on 
fuch fubjetls. Such difficuhies occur in all fcientific 
difcuffions. — Here they muft be numerous and embar- 
rafTmg — for in this enquiry we come near the firfl prin- 
ciples of things, and the firft principles of human know- 
ledge. The geometer does not wonder at mittakes even 
Jn his fcience, the mod fimple of all others. Nor does 
the mechanic or the chemift rejeft all his fcience, becaufe 
he cannot attain clear conceptions of fome of the natur- 
al relations which operate in the phenomena under hi^ 
confideration. Nor do any of thefe ftudcnts of nature 
brand with the name of fool, or knave, or bigot, another 
perfon who has drawn a different conclufion from the 

phenomenon. In one point they all agree — they find 

themfelves poffeffed of faculties which enable them to 
fpeculate, and to difcover ; and they find, that the ope- 
ration of ihofe faculties is quite unlike the things which 
they contemplate by their means — and they feel a Jatis- 

faBion in the pojleffion ofthem^ and in this diftinction.- 

But this feems a misfortune to our Illuminators. I have^ 
long been ilruck with this. If by deep meditation I have 
folved a problem which has bafPied the endeavours of 
others, 1 Oiould hardly thank the perfon who convinced 
me that my fuccefs was entirely owing to the particular 
ftate of my health, by which my brain was kept free frora 
many irritations to which other perfons-are expofed. 
Yet this is the condu£l of the Illuminated — They arc 
abundantly felf-conceited ; and yet thtfy continually en- 
deavour to deftroy all grounds of felf-eilimation. — They 
rejoice in every difcovery that is reported to them iA 


Tome refcmblance, unnoticed before, between mankind 
and the inferior creation, and would be happy to find 
that the refemblance is complete. It is very true, Mr.' 
Pope's " Poor Indian, with untutor'd mind," had no 
objcBion to his dog's going to heaven with him ; 

*' And thinks, admitted to that equal fky, ; 

" His faithful dog fhall bear his company." 

This is not an abje8;, but it is a modeft fentiment. 
But our high-minded philofophers, who, with Beatrice 
in the play, " cannot brook, obedience to a wayward 
piece of marl," if it be in the fhape of a Prince, have 
far other notions of the matter. Indeed they are not yet 
agreed about it. Mr. de la Metherie hopes, that before 
the enlightened Republic of France has got into "its 
leens, he fliall be able to tell his fellow-citizens, in his 
Journal de Phjique, that particular form of cryftalliza- 
tion which men have been accuftomed to call God. — 
Dr. Prieftly again deduces all intelligence from elaftic 
undulations, and will probably think, that his own great 
difcoveries have been the quiverings of fome fiery marfli 
miafma. While Pope's poor Indian hopes to take his 
dog to heaven with him, thefe Illuminators hope to die 
like dogs, and that both foul and body fhall be as if 
they never had been. 

Is not this a melancholy refult of all our Illumina- 
tion ? It is of a piece with the termination of the ideal 
Philofophy, viz. profelTed and total ignorance. Should 
not this make us ftart back and hefitate, before we pout 
like wayward children at the rubs of civil fubordination, 
and before we make a facrifice to our ill humour of all 
that we value ourfelves for ? Does it not carry ridicule 
and abfurdiiy in its forehea'd ? — Such alF-rtibns of per- 

S s 



Tonal worth and dignity (always excepting Princes and 
priefts) and Tuch abjecl acknowledgements of worthlcfl- 
nefs. — Does not this, ofitfelf, fhow that there is fome 
radical fault in the whole ? It has all arifen from what 
they have called Illumination^ and this turns out to be 
worfe than darknefs — But we alfo know that it has all 
arifen from felf-conceited difcontent, and that it has 
been brought to its prefent (late by the rage of fpecula- 
tion. We may venture to put the queftion to any man's 
confcience. — whether difcontent did not precede his 
doubts about his own nature, and whether he has not 
encouraged the train of argument that tended to degrade 
him. " Thy wifh was father, Harry, to that thought." 
— ^Should not this make us diftruft, at lealt, the opera- 
tions of this faculty of our mind, and try to moderate 
and check this darling propenfity '^ It feems a misfor- 
tune of the age — for w^e fee that it is a natural fource of 
difturbance and revolution. But here it will be imme- 
diately faid, " What, muft we give over thinking — be 
no longer rational creatures, and believe every lie that 
is told us ?" By no means. Let us be really rational 
creatures — and, taught by experience, let us, in all our 
fpcculations on fubjeBs which engage the paffions, guard 
ourfelves with the moft anxious care againft the rifk of 
having our judgments warped by ourdefires. There is 
no propenfity of our nature of which the proper and mo- 
deft indulgence is not beneficial to man, and which is 
not hurtful, when this indulgence is carried too far. 
And if we candidly perufe the page of hiftory, we fhall 
be convinced that theabufe is great in proportion as the 
fubjeft is important. What has been fo ruinoudy per- 
verted as the religious principle ? What horrid fuperRi- 
tion has it not produced ? The Reader will not, I hope, 
take it amifs that I prefurrr: to direct his attention to 
foiiie maxims which <ji7ght to conduct a prudent man i:> 


Iii-s indulgence of a fpeculative difpofuion, and apply 
them to the cafe in hand. 

Whoever will for a while call off his attention from 
the common affairs of life, the Cicrcs homiiium, et rerum 
pondua inane, and will but refleft a little on that won- 
derful principle within him, which carries him over the 
whole univerfe, and fhows him its various relations — 
Whoever alfo remarks what a lefs than nothing he is, 
when compared with this unmeafureable fcene — Who- 
ever does thi.*;, cannot but feel an inexpreflible pleafare 
in the contempiation.T— He muft rife in his own eftima- 
tion, and be difpofed to cherifli with fondnefs this prin- 
ciple which fo cminendy raifes him above all around 
him. Of all the fourccs of human vanity this is furely 
the moft manly, the mod excufable, and the mod likely 
to be extravagantly indulged. — We may be certain that 
it will be fo indulged, and that men v;ill frequ<?ntly fpe~ 
c-ulate for the fake of fpeculation alone, and that they 
will have too much confidence in the refults of this favc- 
lite occiipation. — As there have been ages of indolent 
and abjetl credulity and fuperftition, it is next to cer- 
tain that there are alfo times of wild and extravagant fpe- 
culation — -and when we fee it becomincr a fort of j^eneral 
paifion, we may be certain that this is a cafe in point. 

This can hardly be deriied to be the chara^er of the 
prefent day. It is noi denied. On the contrary it is 
gloried in, as the prerogative of the 18th century. All 
riie fpeculalions of antiquity are couhdered as glimmer- 
mgs (with the exceptions of a few brighter {lafhes) when 
compared with our prefent meridian fplendor. Wc 
fhould therefore lilten with caution to the inferences 
from this boatled Illumination. Alfo, when we reflect 
oii \',\vdi paf^e.s in our own mind?, sj^id on what wc oD- 


ferve in the world, of the mighty innuence of our de- 
fires and paffions on our judgments, we ftould care- 
fully notice whether any fuch warping of the belief is 
probable in the prefent cafe. That it is fo is almoft cer- 
tain — for the general and immediate effeft of this Illu- 
mination is to leffen or remove many reftraints which 
the fanftions of religion lay on the indulgence of very 
flxong paffions, and to diminifli our regard for a certain 
purity or correclnefs of manners, which religion recom- 
mends, as the only conduft fuited to our noble natures, 
and as abfolutely neceflary for attaining that perfetlion 
and happinefs of which we are capable.-— For furely if 
we take away religion, it will be wifdom " to eat and to 
drink, fince to-morrow we die." If moreover, we fee 
this Illumination extolled above all fcience, as friendly 
to virtue, as improving the heart, and as producing a 
juft morality, which will lead to happinefs, both for 
curfelves and others, but perceive at the fame time that 
thefe aflertions are made at the expence of principles, 
which our natural feelings force us to venerate as fu- 
preme and paramount to all others, we may then be cer- 
tain that our informer is trying to miflead and deceive 
us. — For all virtue and goodnefs, both of heart and con- 
duft; is in perfcQ; harmony, and there is no jarring or 
inconfiftency. But we mull pafs this fentence on the 
doQrines of this Illumination. Far it is a m.elancholy 
truth that they have been preached and recommended, 
for the moft part, by clergymen, parifh-minillers, who, 
in the prefence of invoked Deity, and in the face of the 
world, have fet their folcmn fcal to a fylicm of doctrines 
diretily oppofite to thofe recommended in their writ- 
ings ; which doQrines they folemnly profefs to bel]c\e, 
and folemnly fwear to i^iculcate. — Surely the inionr.ati- 
oiis and inftrudions of fuch men iliould b^^ rejected. — 
\Vhere fhall wc find their real opinioii^ ? In their fo- 


leiTin oaths ? — or in thele infidel diflertations ? — In ciiher 
cafe, they are deceivers, whether mi'iead by vanity, or 
by the mean defire of church-emoluments ; or they are 
prolHtutes, courting. the fociety of the weahliy and fen- 
i'ual. Honefty, likejuftice, admits of no degrees. A 
iiian is honefl, or he is a knave — and who would trull a 
knave ? But fuch men are unfuitable inihuCiors for 
another reafon — they are unwife; for, whatever they 
may think, they are not r^fpetted as men of worth, but 
are inwardly defpifed as paralites, by the rich, who ad- 
rait them into their con)pany, and treat them with civi- 
lity, for tlieir owp reafons. We take inftruttions not 
ipercly from the knowing— the learned- — but from the 
wife — not therefore from men who give fuch evidences 
of weaknefs. 

Such would be the condu6l of a prudent man, who 
liftcns to the indruBions of another with the lerious in- 
tention of profiting by them. In the prefent cafe, he 
£cGs plain proofs of degraded felf eftimation, of difho- 
ne'ly, and of mean motives. But the prudeiu man will 
go further — he will remark that diifolute manners, and 
actions which are inevitably fubverfive of the peace and 
order, nay, of the very exigence of fociety, are the na- 
tural and ueceCary confeauences of irreliyion. Should 
any doubt of this remain in his mind ; (hould he fome- 
tincs thiiik of an Epecletus, or one or two individuals of 
antiquity, who were emmently virtuous, without the in- 
fluence of religious fanClions, he (hould recolicct, that 
the Stoics were animated by the thought, that while the 
wife man was playing the game of hie, the gods were 
looking on, and pleafcd u ith his (kill. Let him read the 
heautiiul account given by Dr. Smith, of the rife of the 
ijtoic pliiiofophy, and lie will fee that it was an artificial, 
but iiublc auci'ipL of a few exalted mind , cnthuii^lts in 


virtue, aiming to Reel their fouls againft the dreadful but 
tjnavoidable misfortunes to which they were continually 
cxpoled by the daily recurring revolutions in the turbu- 
lent democracies of ancient Greece. There a Philofo- 
pher was this day a Magiftrate, and the next day a cap- 
tive and a flave. He would fee, that this fair pifture of 
itiental happinefs and independence was fitted for the con- 
templation of only a few choice fpirits, but had no influ- 
ence on the bulk of mankind. He muft admire the no- 
ble charaders who were animated by this manly enthufi- 
afm, and who have really exhibited fome wonderful pic- 
tures of virtuous heroifra ; but he will regret, that the 
influence of thefe manly, thefe natural principles, was not 
more extenfive. He will fay to himfelf, " How will a 
vhole nation aft, when religious fanftions are removed, 
and men are aduated by reafon alone ?" — He is not with- 
out inftrutlion on this important fubjeO. France has 
given an awful leffon to furrounding nations, by fliew- 
ing them what is the natural cfiTe^^l of ihaking off the re- 
ligious principle, and the veneration for that pure mora- 
lity which charafterifcs Chrillianity. By a decree of the 
Convention (June 6, 1794) it is declared, that there is 
nothing criminal in the promifcuous commerce of the 
fexes, and therefore nothing that derogates from the fe- 
male charafcler, when woman forgets that fiie is the de- 
pofitary of all domeftic (atisfaciion — that her honor is the 
facred bond of focial life — that on her modefty and de- 
licacy depend all the refpett and confidence that will 
make a man attach himfelf to her fociety, free her from 
labour, fliare with her the fruits of all his own exertions, 
and work witli willingncfs and delight, that Hie may ap- 
pear on all occahons his equal, and the ornament of aii 
his acquifitions. In the very argument which this fe- 
IcL'ted body of fenators lias given for the propritiy of thi§ 
decree, it has deoraded ivoi»ah below all Ci^imi^ium, 


" It is to prevent her from murdering the fruit of un- 
lawful love, by removing her fname, and by relieving 
her from the fear of Vv'^ant." The lenators fay, " the Re- 
public wants citizens, and therefore muft not only re- 
move this temptation of fhame, but muft take care of the 
mother while fhe nurfes the child. It is the property of 
the nation,, and muft not be loft." The woman all the 
while is confidered only as the flie animal, the bfeeder of 
Sanfculottes. This is the jti/I morality of Illumination. 
It is really amunng (for things revolting to nature now 
amufe) to obferve with v.'hat fidelity the principles of the 
Illuminati have exprefied the fentiments which take 
polfeifion of a people who have fhaken off the fanFtions 
of religion and morality. The following is part of the: 
addrefs to Pfycharion and the company mentioned in 
page 202 : " Once more, Pfycharion, I indulge you 
with a look behind you to the flowry days of childhood. 
Now look forward, young uwman ! the holy circle of the 

marriageable (mannhartn) welcome you. Young 

men, honor the young woman, the future breeder (gsha- 
creriii) /" Then, to all. — " Rejoice in the dawn of Il- 
lumination and Freedom. Nature at laft enjoys her fa- 
cred never-fading rights. Long was her voice kept 
down by civil fubordination ; but the days of your ma- 
jority now draw nigh, and you will no longer, under (!ie 
authority of guardians, account it a reproach to couf-dcf 
with enlightened eyes the fecret workfhops of Nature, 
and to enjoy your work and duty." Minos thought ihi.s 
very hne, but it raifed a terrible difturbance, and broke 
up the aiTembly. Such are the eifech of this boafted en- 
lightening of the human raind with refpefl to religion and 
morality. Let us next confider what is the refuU of toe 
mighty informauons which wchavegoLin rerp':6l of our 
focial or political connecli^ns. 


II, Wc have learned the fum-totai of this political lU 
lamination, and fee that, if true, it is melancholy, de- 
ilrucliv^e of our prefent comforts, numerous as they are, 
and affords no profpe8. of redrefs from w"hich we can 
profit, but, on the contrary, plunges mankind into con- 
iclt, mutual injury, and univerfal mifcry, and all this 
for the chance only of prevailing in the conteft, and giv- 
in.^ our poilerity a c/z(?7?ce of going on in peace, if no 
change fliall be produced, as in former times, by the ef- 
forts of ambitious men. Bat the Illumination appears 
to be partial, nay falfe. What is it ? It holds out to the 
rriiice noi-hing but the refignation of all his polfcffions, 
rights, and claims, fanclipned by the quiet poiTefTion of 
ages, and bv all the feelings of the human heart which 
give any notion of right to his lowed fubje^t. All thefe 
poiTefiions and claims are difcovered to have arifcn from 
ufurpations, and are therefore tyranny. It has been dif- 
covered, that all fubordinate fubjc61ions were enforced, 
therefore their continuance i^Jlavery. But both of thefe 
iiiftorical affertions are in a great degree falfe, and the 
infercnt,»:s from them arc unreafonable. The world has 
gone on as we fee it go on at prefent. Moll principali- 
ties or fovereignties have arifen as we fee perfonal au- 
thorities and influence arife every day among ourfelves. 
Buhnefs for the whole mud be done. Moll men are 
fufficiently occupied by their private affairs, and they 
are indolent even in thefe — they are contented when ano- 
ther docs the thing for them. There is not a little vil- 
lage, nor a focicty of men, where this is not feen every 
day. Some men have an enjoyment in this kind of vi- 
carious employment. All men like influence and power^ 
and iluis are compenfated for their trouble. Thus ma- 
ny petty managers of public affairs arife in every coun- 
try. The mutual ?inimofuies of individuals, and f;iU 
more, the animbfities of tribes, clansj and different af- 


fociatlons, give rife to another kind of fuperiors — to 
leaders, who direft the ftruggles of the reft, whether for 
offence or defence. The defcendants of Ifrael faid, "they 
wanted a man to go out before the people, like other 
nations." As the fmall bulinefs of a few individuals 
requires a manager or a leader, fo do fome more general 
affairs of thefe petty fuperiors, and many of thefe alfo 
are indolent enough to wifh this trouble taken off their 
hands ; and thus another rank of fuperiors arifes, and a 
third, and fo on, till a great State may be formed ; and 
in this gradation each clafs is a competent judge of the 
condu6l of that clafs only which is immediately above it. 
All this may arife, and has often arifen, from voluntary 
conceffion alone. This conceffion may proceed from 
various caufes-^from confidence in fuperior talent's — 
from confidence in great worth— moft generally from the 
refpeft or deference which all men feel for great poffef- 
iions. This is frequently founded in felf-intereft and ex- 
peBations of advantage ; but it is natural to man, and 
perhaps fprings from our inftinclive fympathy with the 
fatisfaftions of others — we are unwilling to difturb them, 
and even wifh io promote them. 

But this fubordination may arife, and has often ari- 
fen, from other caufes — from the iove of power and ia.- 
fluence, which makes fome men eager to lead others, or 
even to manage their concerns. We fee this every day, 
and it may be perfectly innocent. It often arifes from 
the defir« of gain of one kind or another. Even this 
may frequendy be indulged with perfeft innocence, and 
even with general advantage. Frequently, however, 
this fubordination is produced by the love of power cm: 
of gain puflied to an immoderate degree of ambition, 
and rendered unjuft. Now there arife opp re IHon, ty-> 

T t 


ranny, fufFerings, and flavery. Now appears an oppo- 
iition between the rights or claims of the r uler and of 
the people. Now the rulers come to confider them- 
felves as a different clafs, and their tranfa6tions are now 
only with each other. — Prince becomes the rival or the 
enemy of Prince ; and in their contefts one prevails, 
and the dominion is enkrged. This rivalfhip may have 
begun in any rank of fuperiors, everv between the firft 
STAanagers of the affairs of the fmallefl communities; and 
it muft be remarked that they only are the immediate 
gainers or lofers in the conteft, while thofe below them 
live at eafe, enjoying many advantages of the delegation 
of their own concerns. 

No human fociety has ever proceeded purely in ei- 
ther of thefe two ways, but there has always been a mix- 
ture of both. — But this procefs is indifpenfably necef- 
fary for the formation of a great nation and for all the 
confequences that refult only from fuch a coalition. — 
Therefore it is necefiTary for giving rife to all thofe com- 
forts, and luxuries, and elegances, which are to be found 
only in great and cultivated ftates. It is necelTary for 
producing fuch enjoyments as we fee around us in Eu- 
rope, which we prize fo highly, and for which we are 
making all this ftir and difturbance. I believe that no 
man who expefts to be believed will flatly fay that hu- 
man nature and human enjoyments are not meliorated by 
this cultivation. — It feems to be the intention of nature, 
and, notwithftanding the follies and victs of many, we 
can have little hefitation in faying that there are in the 
mofl: cultivated nations of Europe, and even in the high- 
eft ranks of thefe nations, men of great virtue and worth 
and of high accomplifhment — Nor can we deny that 
fuch men are the finefi: fpecimens of human nature. 
Roulfeau wrote a whimiical pamphlet in whick he had 


the vanity to think that he had proved that all thcfe fruits 
of cultivation were lofTes to humanity and to virtue — 
Yet Rouffeau could not be contented with the fociety of 
the rude and unpoliihed, although he pretended that he 
^vas almofl: the fole worfhipper of pure virtue. — He fup* 
ported himfelf, not by afliliing the iimple peafant, but 
by writing mufic for the pampered rick 

This is the circuraftance entirely overloolced, or art- 
fully kept out of light, in the boafted Illumination of 
thefe days. No attention is paid to the important chan- 
ges which have happened in national greatnefs, in nati- 
onal connexion, in national improvement — yet we ne- 
ver think of parting with any of the advantages^ real or 
imaginary, which thefe changes have produced — nor do 
\vc refled that in order to keep a great nation together — 
to make it aQ with equality, or with preponderancv, 
among other nations, the individual exertions rauft be 
concentrated, muft be direfted — and that this requires a 
ruler veiled with fupreme power, and inter ejled by fomt 
great and endearing motive^ fuch as hereditary polTelfio^ 
of this power and influence, to maintain and defend this 
coalition of men. — All this is overlooked, and we at- 
tend only to the fubordination which is indifpenfably 
necelfary. Its grievances are immediately felt, and 
they are heightened ten fold by a delicacy or fenfibility 
which fprings from the great improvements in the accom- 
modations and enjoyments of life, which the gradual 
ufurpation and fublequent fubordination have produced 
and continue to fupport. But we are determined to 
have the elegance and grandeur of a palace without the 
prince.— We will not give up any of our luxuries and 
refinements, yet will not fupport thofe high ranks and 
thofe nice minds. which produced them, and which muft 
.continue to keep them from degenerating into barbarouti 


fimplicity and coarfe fenfuality. — We would keep the 
•philofophers, the poets, the artifts, but not the Mcece- 
nafes. — It is very true that in fuch a ftate there would 
be no Conjuration des Philofophes ; for in fuch a ftate 
this vermin of philofophes and fcribblers would not have 
■exifted. — In fliort, we would have what is impoffible. 

I have no hefitation in faying, that the Britifh Con- 
-flitution is the form of government for a great and re- 
.fined nation, in which the ruling fentiments and propen- 
fities of human nature feem moft happily blended and 
balanced. There is no occafion to vaunt it as the an- 
cient rights gf Britons, the wifdom of ages. Sec. It 
has attained its prefent pitch of perfeftion by degrees, 
and this not by the efforts of wifdom, but by the ftrug- 
-gles of vice and folly, working on a rich fund of good 
.nature, and of manly fpirit, that are confpicuous in the 
Britifh charaBer. I do not hefitateto fay that this is the 
cnly form of government which will admit and giv^e full 
exercife to all the refpeftable propenfities of our nature, 
with the lead chance of difturbance, and the greateft 
probability of man's arriving at the higheft pitch of ifiv- 
-provement in every thing that raifes him above the beafts 
of the field. Yet there is no part of it that may not, 
that is not, abufed, by pulhing it to an improper length, 
and the fame watchful care is neceffary for preferving 
our ineflimable bleflings that was employed in acquiring 
them. — This is to be done, not flying at once to an ab- 
ilraB theory of the rights of man. — There is an evident 
folly in this procedure. What is this theory ? It is the 
belt general fl^etch that we can draw of focial life, de- 
duced from our knowledge of human nature. — And what 
is this knowledge ? It is a well digefted abflract, or Ei- 
ther a declaration of what we have obferved of human ac- 
tions. What is the ufe therefore of this intermediate 


pi£lure, this theory of the rights of man ? — It has a chance 
of being unlike the original — it muft certainly have ini- 
perfetlions.— Therefore it can be of no ufe to us. — We 
fhould go at once to the original — we ihould confider 
how men have aHed — what havt been their mutual expec- 
tations — their fond propenfities — what of thefe are incon- 
fiftent with each other — what are the degrees of indulge 
"cnce which have bun admitted in them all without diT 
turbance. I will venture to fay that whoever docs this, 
■will find himfelf imperceptibly fet down in the Britifh 
parliament of King, Lords, and Commons, all looking at 
-each other with fomewhat of a cautious or jealous eye, 
while the reft of the nation are fitting, " each under his 
own vine, and under his own fig-tree, and there is none 
to make him afraid." 

A moft valuable refult of fuch contenfplation will be 
a thorough convitlion that the grievance which is moft 
clamoroully inhfted on is the mevitable conlequence of 
the liberty and fecurity \vhich we enjoy. I mean minif- 
•terial corruption, with all the difmal tale of placemen, and 
penfioners, and rotten boroughs, &c. &'c. Thefe are ne- 
ver feen in a defpotic government — there they are not 
wanted — nor can they be very apparent in an uncultiva- 
ted and poor ftate — but in a luxurious nation, where 
pleafures abound, where the returns of induftry are fecure; 
here an individual looks on every thing as his own acqui- 
•lition — he does not feci his relation to the ftate — has no 
■patriotifm' — thinks that he would be much happier if the 
ftate would let him alone. — He is fretted by the reftraints 
which the public weal lays on him — therefore govern- 
ment and governors appear as checks and hindrances to 
his exertions — hence a general inclination to relift admi-. 
.niftration. — Yet public bufmefs muft be done, that we 
may lie down and rife again in fafety and peace. — Admi- 


niflration muft be fupported — there are always perfons 
who wifli to pofTefs the power that is exercifed by the 
prefent minifters, and would turn them out. — How is all 
this to be remedied ? — I fee no way but by applying to 
the felfifli views of individuals — by rewarding the friends 
of adminiftration — this may be done with perfeft virtue 
— ^and from this the felfifh will conceive hopes, and will 
fupport a virtuous miniftry — but they are as ready to 
help a wicked on€. — This becomes the greateft misfor- 
tune of a free nation. — Minifters are tempted to bribe — 
and, if a fyftematic oppofition be conhdered as a necef- 
fary part of a praftical conftitution, it is almoft indifpen^ 
iable — and it is no where fo prevalent as in a pure de- 
mocracy. — Laws may be contrived to make it very trou- 
blefome — but can never extirpate it, nor greatly dimi- 
nilh it — this can be done only by defpotifm, or by nati- 
onal virtue. — -It is a fliameful complaint — we fliould not 
reprobate a few minifters, but the thoufands who take the 
bribes. — Nothing tends fo much todiminifh it in a cor- 
rupted nation as great limitations to the elegibility of re- 
prefentatives — and ihis is the beauty of our conftitution. 

We have not difcovered^ therefore, by this boafted Il- 
lumination, that Princes and fuperiors are ufelefs, and 
muft vanifh from the earth; nor that the people have now 
attained full age, and are fit to govern themfelves. We 
want only to revel for a little on the laft fruits of nati- 
onal cultivation, which we would quickly confume, and 
never allow to be railed again.— -No matter how this pro-- 
grefs began, whether from conceftion or ufurpation — We 
poflefs it, and if M'ife, we will preferve it, by preferving 
its indifpenfable fupports. They have indeed been fre- 
quently employed very improperly, but their moft per- 
nicious abufe has been this breed of fcribbling vermin, 
which have made the body-politic fuiartin every limb. . 


Hear what opinion was entertained of the fages of 
France by their Prince, the Father of Louis XVL the 
unfortunate martyr of Monarchy. " By the principles 
of our new Philofophers, the ITirone no longer wears 
the fplendour of divinity. They maintain that it arofe 
from violence, and that by the fame juftice that force 
erected it, force may again fhake it, and overturn h. 
The people can never give up their power. They only 
let it out for their own advantage, and always retain the 
right to refcind the contraft, and refume it whenever 
their perfonal advantage, their only rule of conduct, re- 
quires it. Our philofophers teach in public what our 
paffions fugged only in fecret. They fay to the Prince 
that all is permitted only when all is in his power, and 
that his duty is fulfilled when he has pleafed his fancy. 
Then, furely, if the laws of felf-intereft, that is, the felf- 
will of human paiTions, fhall be fo generally admitted, 
that we thereupon forget the eternal laws of God and of 
Nature, all conceptions of right and wrong, of virtue and 
vice, of good and evil,mufl be extirpated from the human 
heart. The throne muft totter, the fubjeds mud become 
unmanageable and mutinous, and their ruler hard-heart- 
ed and inhuman. The people will be incelTanlly either 
oppreired,or in an uproar." — " What fervice will it be if i 
order fuch a book to be burnt — the author can wri^e 
another by to-morrow." This opinion of a Prince is 
unpolifhedindeed, and homely, but it is juft. 

Weifhaupt grants that " there will be a terrible con- 
vulfion, and a ftorm — but this will be fucceeded by a 
calm— the unequal will now be equal — and when the 
caufe of diffenfion is thus removed, the world will be in 
peace." True, when the caufes of diflenfion are remov- 
ed. Thus, the deftruQion of our crop by vermin is at 
at an end when a flood has fwept every thing away— 


but as new plants will fpring up in the wafte, and, if not 
inllantly devoured, will again cover the ground with vef- 
dure, fo the induftry of man, and his defire of comfort 
and confideration, will again accumulate in the hands of 
the diligent a greater proportion of the good things of life. 
In this infant Itate of the emerging remains of former cul- 
tivation, comforts, which the prefent inhabitants of Eu- 
rope would look on with contempt, will be great, im- 
proper, and hazardous acquifitions. The principles 
which authorife the propofed dreadful equalifation will 
as juftly entitle the idle or unfuccefsful of future days to 
flrip the poirefTor of his advantages, and things muft ever 
remain on their favage level. 

III. I think that the impreffion which the infincerity 
ofcondu8;of thofe inftruftors will leave on the mind, 
muft be highly ufeful. They are evidently teaching 
what they do not believe themfelves — and here I do not 
confine my remark to their preparatory doftrines, which 
they afterwards explode. I make it chiefly with refpeft 
to their grand oftenfible principle, which pfivades tbte 
whole, a principle which they are obliged to adopt 
agai«ft their will. They know that ,the principles of 
virtue are rooted in the heart, and that they can only be 
fmothered — but did they pretend to eradicate them and 
piioclaim hominem homini lupiim, all would fpurn at their 
infl:ru6iion. We are wheedled, by tickling oiir fancy 
with the notion that facred virtue is not only fecure, but 
that it is only in fuch hearts that it exerts its native ener- 
gy. Senfible that the levelling maxims now fpoken of, 
are revoking to the mind, the Illuminators are under 
the necefTity of keeping us from looking at the Ihocking 
pifture, by difplaying a beautiful fcenc of Utopian hap- 
pinefs — and they rock us afleep by the eternal lullaby 
of morality and universal philanthropy. Therefore the 


foregoing narration of the perfonal condu8: of thefe in- 
ftru6lors and reformers of the world, is highly ufeful. 
All this is to be brought about by the native loveiWfs 
of pure virtue, purged of the corruptions which fuper- 
ftitious fears have introduced, and alfo purged of the 
fclfifh thoughts which are avowed by the advocates of 
what their opponents call true religion. This is faid to 
hold forth eternal rewards to the good, and to threaten 
the wicked with dreadful punifhment. Experience has 
lliown how inefficient fuch motives are. Can they be 
©therwife, fay our Illuminators ? Are they not addreff- 
cd to a principle that is ungenerous and felfifh ? But our 
do6lrines, fay they, touch the hearts of the worthy. 
Virtue is beloved for her own fake, and all will yield to 
her gentle fway. But look, Reader, look at Spartacus 
the murderer — at Cato the keeper of poifons and the 
thief--*^Look at Tiberius, at Alcibiades, and the reft of 
the Bavarian Pandemonium .-^^Look at Poor Bahrdt.-^ 
Go to France-^look at Lequinio — ^at Condorcet.* — • 
Look at the Monfter Orleans.-*-All were liars. Th^ir 
divinity had no influence on their profligate minds. 
They only wanted to wheedle you, by touching the 
ftrings of humanity and goodnefs which are yet bra^red 
up in your heart, and which will ftill yield fweet harmo- 
ny if you will accompany their notes with thofe of reli- 
gion, and neither clog them with the groveling pleafures 
of fenfe, nor damp th6 whole with the thought of eter- 
nal filence. 

* Th la MethiSvLe fays (Journ. de Phyf. Notx. 1792) that Cort- 
dprcet was brought up in the houfe of the c4d Duke of Rochefou* 
cault, who treated him as his fon — got Turgot to create a lucra- 
tive office for him, and raifed him to all his eminence — yet he piir- 
lued him with malicious nsports—^and a(?rually employ'ed ruffians 
to aiWSnaCe hrm. Yet-i* C$fid<>rc«V« w*itiB^' * B&ad4-«f h«m»* 

Y i 


A mod worthy and accomplifhed gentleman, -who. 
took refuge in this country, leaving behind him his pro-, 
perty, and friends to whom he was mod tenderly attach- 
ed, often faid to me diat nothing fo much afFeded him 
as the revolution in the hearts of men. — Characters 
which were unfpotted, hearts tho-roughly known to him- 
felf, having been tried by many things which fearch the 
inmoft folds of felfifhnefs or malevolence — in fhort, per- 
fons whofe judgments were excellent, and on whofe 
worth he could haverefted his honor and his life, fo 
fafcinated by the contagion, that they came at laft to 
behold, and even to commit the moft atrocious crimes 
with delight. — He ufed fometimes to utter a figh which 
pierced my heart, and would fay, that it was caufed by 
fome of thofe things that had come acrofs his thoughts. 
He breathed his laft among us, declaring that it was im- 
poffible to recover peace of mind, without a total obli- 
vion of the wickednefs and miferies he had beheld. 
"What a valuable advice, " Let him that thinketh he 
ftandeth, take heed left he fall." — When the prophet 
told Hazael that he would betray his Prince, he ex- 
claimed, " Is thy fervant a dog, that he fiiould do fuch 
a thing .?" Yet next day he murdered him. 

Never, fince the beginning of the world, has true re- 
ligion received fo complete an acknowledgment of her 
excellence, as has been extorted from the fanatics who 
have attempted to deftroy her. Religion ftood in their 
way, and the wretch Marat, as well as the fteady villain 
Weifhaupt, faw that they could not proceed till they 
had eradicated all fentiments of the moral government 
of the univerfe. Human nature, improved as it has 
been by Religion, flirunk from the tafl^s that were im- 
pofed, and it muft therefore be brutalized — The grand 
confederation was folemnly fworn to by millioas in every 


corner of France — but, as Mirabeau faid of the diecla- 
Tation of the Rights of Man, it mufl; be made only the 
*' Almanac of the bygone year" — Therefore Lequinio 
niuft write a book, declaring oaths to be nonfenfe, un- 
worthy of fanfculottes, and all religion to be a farce. — 
Not long after, they found that they had fome ufe for a, 
God — but he was gone — and they could not find another. 
— Their conftitutioji was gone — and they have not yet 
found another. — What is now left them on which they 
can depend for awing a man into a refpe6lfor truth in 
his judicial declarations ? — what but the honor of a Ci- 
tizen of France, who laughs at all engagements, which - 
he has broken again and again. — Religion has taken oif 
with her every fenfe of human duty. — What can we ex- 
pert but villany from an Archbifhop of Paris and his 
chapter, who made a public profeffion that they Jiad 
been playing the villains for many years, teaching what 
they thought to be a bundle .of lies ? What but the very 
thing which they have done^ cutting each others throats. 
Have not the enlightened citizens of France applauded 
the execution of their fathers ? Have not the furies of 
Paris denounced their own children ? — But turn your 
eyes from the horrifying fpeftacle, and think on your 
own noble defccnt and alliance. You are not the acci- 
dental produftions of a fatal chaos, but the work of a 
Great Artift, creatures ihat are cared for, born to no- 
ble profpeBs, and conduced to them by the plained and 
TTioft fimple precepts, " to do juftly, to love mercy, 
and to walk humbly before God," not bewildered by 
the falfe and fluttering glare of French Philofophy, but 
conducted by this clear, fmgle light, perceivable by all, 
*' Do to others what you fhould reafonably expc6l them 
to do to you." 


Think not the Mufe whofe fober voice you hear, 

Contrads with bigot frown her fuilen brow, 
Cafts round Religion's orb the mills of Fear, 

Or fhades with horror what with fmiles fhould glow. 

No — fhe would warm you with feraphic fire, 

Heirs as ye are of Heaven's eternal day. 
Would bid you boldly to that Heaven afpire. 

Not fink and flumber in your cells of clay. 

|s this the bigot's rant ? Away ye vain. 

Your" doubts, your fears, in gloomy dulnefs fteep ; 

Go — foothe your fouls in ficknefs, death, or pain. 
With the fad folace of eternal fleep. 

Yet know, vain fceptics, know, th' Almighty Mind, 

Who breath'd on man a portion of his fire, 
Bade his free foul, by earth nor time confin'd. 

To Heaven, to immortality afpire. 

Nor fhall this pile of hope his bounty rear'd. 

By vain philofophy be e'er deftroy'd ; 
Eternity, by all or hop'd or fear'd. 

Shall be by all or fuffer'd or enjoy'd. 

M A s w. 

The unfortunate Prince who has taken refuge in. this 
kingdom, and whofe fituation among us is an illuftrious 
xasiTk of the generofity of the nation, and of the fove- 
reignty of its laws, faid to one of the Gentlemen about 
bini, that " if this country was to efcape the general 
wreck of nations, it would owe its prefervation to Reli- 
gion." — When this was doubted, and it was obferved, 
that there had not been wanting many ReligLonifls in 
France : " True," faid the Prince, " but they were 
not in earneft. — I fee here a ferious interell in the thing. 
The people know what they are doing when they go to 
church — they underftand fomediing of it, and \take an 
intereft in it." May his obfervation be juft, and his ex- 
pedations be fuhilkd ! 


IV. I would again call uport my countrywomen with 
the raoft earneft concern, and befeech them to confidcr 
this iubjeB as of more particular importance to them- 
felves than even to the men. — While woman is conlider- 
ed as a refpeftablc moral agent, training along with 
durfelves for endlefs improvement ; then, and only then» 
will ihe be conCidered by lordly man as his equal ;— -then, 
and only then, will (he be allowed to have ajjy rights, 
and tbofe rights be refpecied. Strip woteen of this pre- 
rogative, and they become the drudges of man's indo- 
lence, or the pampered playthings of his i4le aoiars,, fub- 
jeft to liis caprices, and flaves to his mean palfioHs. Soon 
will their prefent empire of gajlarttry be over. It is a 
refinement of manners which fprang from Chriftianity ; 
and when Chriftianity is forgotten, this artificial diadem 
will be taken from their heads, and, unlefs they adopt the 
ferocious fentiments of their Gallic neighbours, and join 
in the general uproar, they will fink into the infignificance 
of the women in the turbulent republics of Greece,, 
where they are never feen in the bufy haunts of men, if 
■we except four or five, who, during the courJe ofasma- 
oy centuries, emerged from the general obfcuritv, and 
a.ppear in the hiftoric page, by their uncommon talents, 
and by the facrifice of what my fair eountrywoitien fliil 
hald. to be the ornament of their fex. I would rerflind 
theiTQ that they have it in their power to retain their pre- 
ient honorable ftation in fociety. They are our early 
inftrutloTs, and while mothers in the refpedable Rations 
of life continued to inculcate on the tender minds of their 
fons a veneration for the precepts of Religion, their pli- 
ent children, receiving their inllruftions along with the 
affectionate carefics of their mothers, got iinpreflionst 
which long retained their force, and which protected 
them from the iinpulfcs of youthful paffions, lill ripeninj;. 
years fitted their minds for liftening to ferious inllruBi- 


on from their public teachers. Sobriety and decency of 
manners were then no flur on the charaQer of a youth, and 
he was thought capable of ftruggling for independence, 
or pre-eminence, fit either for fupporting or defending 
the ftate, although he was neither a toper nor a rake. I 
believe that no man who has feen thirty or forty years of 
life will deny that the manners of youth are fadly chang-" 
ed in this refpe6l. And, without prefuming to fay that 
this has proceeded from the negleft, and almoft: total cef-- 
ftition of the moral education of the nurfery, I think my- 
felf well warranted, from my own obfervation, to fay 
that this education and the fober manners of young men 
have quitted us together. 

Some will call this prudery, and croaking. But I am 
almoft tranfcribing from Cicero, and from Quintilian. — 
Cornelia, Aurelia, Attia, and other ladies of the firft 
rank, are prailed by Cicero only for their eminence in this 
refpeQ: ; but not becaufelhey were j/?7i^ii/(2r. Quintili- 
an fays, that in the time immediately prior to his own, it 
had been the general prafticeof the ladies of rank'to fuper- 
ifitend the moral education both of fons and daughters. 
But of late, fays he, they are fo engaged in continual and 
corrupting amufements, fuch as the fhows of gladiators, 
horfe-racing, and deep play, that they have no time, and 
have yielded their places to Greek governelTes and tu- 
tors, outcafts of a nation more fubdued by their own vi- 
ces than by the Roman arms. I dare fay this was laugh- 
ed at, as croaking about the corruption of the age« 
But what was the confequence of all this ? — The Ro- 
mans became the raoft abandoned voluptuaries, and, to 
preferve their mean pleafures, they crouched as willing 
{laves to a fucceffion of the vilell tyrants that ever dif- 
graced humanity. 


What a noble fund of ft^lf-eftimation would our fair 
pfartners acquire to themfelves, if, by reforming the 
manners of the young generation, they fhould be the 
means of reftoring peace to the world ! They have it in 
their power^ by the renewal of the good old cuftom of 
early inftruftion, and perhaps ftill more, by impreffing 
on the minds of their daughters the fame fentiments, and 
obliging them to refpetl fobriety and decency in the 
youth, and pointedly to witb-hold their fmiles and civi- 
lities from all who tranfgrefsthefc i*a the fmalleft degree. 
This is a method of proceeding that will mojl certainly 
be viBorious. Then indeed will the women be the fa- 
viours of their country. While therefore the German 
fair have been repeatedly branded with having welcomed 
the French invaders,* let our Ladies ftand up for the 
honor of free-born Britons, by turning againft the pre- 
tended enlighteners of the world, the arms which nature 
has put into their hands, and which thofe profligates 
have prefumptuoufly expcfted to employ in extending 
their influence over mankind. The empire of beauty 
is but fhort, but the empire of virtue is durable ; nor is 
there an inftance to be met with of its decline. If it be 
yet poflible to reform the world, it is poffible for the 
fair. By the conftitution of human rvature, they muft 
always appear as the ornament of human life, anii be 
the objeBs of fondnefs and aifctlion ; fo that if any 
thing can make head againft the felfifli and overbearing 
difpofitions of man, it is his refpeftful regard for the fcx. 

. ' * I have met with this charge m many places ; and one book 
in particular, written by a Pruilian General Officer, who was in 
the country over-run by the French troops, gives a detail of the cor- 
du(fb of the V\'omen that is very remarkable. He alfo fays, that in- 
fidelity has become very prevalent among the ladies in the higlier 
circles. Indeed this melancholy account is to be found in many 
paiTages of the privarc correspondence of the Illuminati. 


But mere fondnefs has but little" of the rational creature 
in it, and we fee it harbour every day in the breaft that 
is filled with the ineaneft and inoft turbulent paffions. 
No where is it fo ftrong as in the harems of the eaft ; and 
as long as the women afl^ nothing of the men but fond- 
tiefs and admiration, they will get nothing elfe-^they 
will never be refpefted. But let them roufe themfelves,' 
aiTert their dignity, by fhewing their own elevated fen- 
timents of human nature, and by afting up to this claim, 
and they may then command th^ world. 

V. Another good confequence that fhould refult from 
the account that has been given of the proceedings of 
this con fpi racy is, that fmce the fafcinating pitlure of 
human life, by which men have beeu Vv'heedled into im- 
mediate anarchy and rebellion, is infincere, an^ a mere 
artificial creature of the imagination, it can have no ftea- 
dinefs, but muft be changed by every freak of fancy, or 
by every ingenious fophift, who can give an equal plau- 
fibilify to wbateveT fuits his prefent views. It is as much 
an airy phantom as any otltcr whim of Free Mafonry, 
and has no prototype, no original pattern in human na- 
ture, to which recourfe may ahvays be had, to^ correft 
miflakes, and keep things in a conftant tenor. Has not 
France given the moft unequivocal proofs of this ? Was 
not the declaration of the Rights of Man, the produftion 
of their moft brilliant Illuminators, a pifture in ahjira^o., 
where man was placed "at a diftance from the eye, that no 
falfe light of local fituation might pervert the judgment 
or engage the paffions }■ Was it not declared to be the 
raafterpiece of huriian wifdom ? Did not the nation con- 
fider it at Icifurc ? and having it continually before their 
eyes, did they not, ftcp by flep, give their aflent to th^ 
different articles of their Conftitution, derived from it, 
and fabricated by their moft chgice Iliuminators i AncJ 


did not this Conftitution draw the applaiifes of the bright 
geniufes of other nations, who by this time were bufy in 
perfuading, each his countrymen, that they were igno- 
ramufcs in ftatiftics, and patient flaves of oppreflion or 
of ancient prejudices ? Did not panegyrics on it ifFiie 
from every ganet in London ? Where is it now ? where 
is its fucceflbr ? Has any one plan of government fiib- 
fifted, except while it was fupported;by the incontroula- 
ble and inexorable power of the guillotine ? Is not the 
prefent adminiftration of France as much as ever the ob- 
ject of difcontent and of terror, and its coercions as like 
as ever to the fummary juftice of the Parihan mob ? Is 
there any probability of its peniianency in a ftate of 
peace, when the fears of a foreign enemy no longer give 
a confolidation to their meafures, and oblige them ei- 
ther to agree among themfelves,or immediately to perifh? 

VI. The above accounts evince in the mod uncon- 
trovertible manner the dangerous tendency of all rayfti- 
cal focieties, and of all affociations who hold fecret 
meetings. 'We fee that their uniform pvogrefs has been 
from frivolity and nonfenfe to wickednefs and fedition. 
Weifliaupt has been at great pains to fhow the good ef- 
fects of fecrecy in the Affociation, and the arguments 
are valid for his purpofe. — But all his arguments are fo 
manydifTuafive advices to every thinking and fober mind< 
The man who really wifhes todifcovcr anabflrufe truth 
will place.himfelf, if poiiible, in a calm fituation, and 
will by no meatus expofe himfelf to the impatient hank- 
ering for fecrets and wonders — and he will always fear 
that a thing which refolutely conceals itfelf cannot bear 
the light. All who have ferioufly employed themfelve$ 
in the difcovery of truth have found the great advanta- 
ges of open communication of fentiment. And it is 
. . W ^ 


againft common fenfe to imagine that there is any thir^g" 
of vaft importance to mankind which is yet a fecret, and 
which muft be kept a fecret in order to be ufefuh This 
is againft the whole experience of mankind — And furely 
to hug in one's breaft a fecret of fuch mighty importance, 
is to give the lie to all our profeffions of brotherly love. 
What a folecifm I a fecret to enlighten, and reform the 
"whole world. — We render all our endeavours impotent 
vhen we grafp at a thing beyond our power. Let an af- 
fociation be formed with a ferious plan for reforming 
its own members, and let them extend their numbers in 
proportion as they fucceed — this might do fome good, — 
But muft the way of doing this be a fecret ? — It may be 
to many — who. will not look for it where it is to be found 
— It is this, 

«• Do good- — feefc peace — and purfue it.'* 

But it is almoft affronting the reader to fuppofe argu- 
ments neceffary on this point. If there be a neceflity 
for fecrecy, the purpofe of the Affociation is either frir 
volous, or it is felfilh. 

Now, in either cafe, the danger ofTuch fecret alTem- 
blies is manifeft. — Mere frivolity can never ferioufly oc- 
cupy men come to age. And accordingly we fee that 
in every quarter of Europe where Free Mafonry has 
been cftablifhed, the Lodges have become feedbeds of 
public raifchjef. I believe t-hat no ordinary Broths 
will fay, that the occupations in the Lodges are any 
thing better than frivolous, very frivolous indeed. The 
diftribution of charity needs be no fecret, and it is but a 
very fmall part of the employment of the meeting. — 
This being the cafe, it is in human nature that the great- 
er we fuppofe the frivolity of fuch an affociation to be, 
the greater is the chance gf its ceafing to g^ive fuffxieot 


occupation to the mind, and the greater is the riflv that 
the meetings may be employed to other purpofes which 
require concealment. When this happens, felf-intereft 
alone muft prompt and rule, and now there is no length 
that fome men will not go, when they think themfelves 
in no danger of det^Hron and-punifhment. The whole 
proceedings of the fecret focieties of Free Mafons on the 
Continent (and I am authorifed to fay, of fome Lodges 
in Britain) have taken one turn, and this turn is perfed- 
}y natural. In all countries there are men of licentious 
morals. Such men wifh to have a fafe opportunity of 
indulging their wits in fetire and farcafm ; and they are 
pleafed with the fupport of others. — The defire of mak- 
ing profelyt-es is in every breaft — and it is whetted by 
the reftraints of fociety. — -And all countries have difcon- 
tented men, whofe grumblings will raife difcontent in 
others, who might not have attended to fome of the 
trifling hardfhips and injuries they met with, had they 
not been reminded of them. To be difcontented, and not 
to think of fchemes of redrcfs, is what we cannot think 
natural or manly ; — and where can fuch fentimeuts and 
Schemes find fuch fafe utterance and fuch probable fup- 
port as in a fecret fociety ? Free Mafonry is innocent 
of all thefe things ; but Free Mafonry has been abufed, 
and at laft totally perverted — and fo will and muft any 
fuch fecret afTociation, as long as men are licentious in 
their opinions or wicked in their difpofitions. 

It were devoutly to be wiHied therefore that tlie whole 
Fraternity would imitate the truly benevolent condutt 
of thofe German Lodges who have formally broken up, 
and made a patriotic facrifice of their amufcment to the 
fafety of the ftate. I cannot think the facrifice great or 
coftly. It can be no difficult matter to tind as pleafant a- 
way of palling a vacant hour — and the charitabk dctdi 


of the members need not diminifli in the fmalleft degree. 
Every perfon's httle circle of acquaintance will give him 
opportunities of gratifying his kind difpofitions, without 
the chance 'of being miftaken in the worth of the perfon 
on whom he bellows his favors. There is )no occafion 
10 go to St. Peterfburg for a poor Brother, nor to India 
for a convert to Chriftianity, as long^as we fee fo many 
fafferers and infidels among ourfelves. 

But not only are fecret focieties dangerous, but all fo- 
cieties whofe object is myfterious. The whole hiftory 
of man is a proof of this pofition. In no age or country 
has there ever appeared a myfterious affociation which 
did not in time become a public nuifance. Ingenious of 
defigning men of letters have attempted to Ihow that 
fome of the ancient myfteries were ufeful to mankind, 
containing rational do6trines of natural religion. This 
was the ftrong hold of Weifhaupt, and he quotes the 
Eleufmian, the Pythagorean, and other myfteries. But 
furely their external figns and tokens were every thing 
that is fliocking to decency and civil order. It is un- 
common prefuraption for the learned of the i8th centu- 
ry to pretend to know more about them than their con- 
temporaries, the philofophers, the lawgivers of antiquity. 
Tliefe give no fuch account of them. I would defire 
any perfon who admires the ingenious difiertations of 
Dr. Warburton to read a dull German book, called Ca- 
raBerifcik der Myflericn der Altej-n, publifhed at Fja-nk- 
fort in 1787. The author contents himfelf with a pati- 
ent collection of every fcrap of every ancient author 
who has faid any thing about them. If the reader can 
fee any thing in them but the moft abfard and immoral 
polytheifm and fable, he rauft take words iu a fenfe that 
is ufclefs in reading any other piece of ancient conipofi- 
tion. 1 have a notion that the Dionyfiacs of Ionia had 


fome fciitntific fecrets, viz. all the knowledge of.pra6li- 
cal mechanics which was employed by their architects 
and engineers, and that they were really a Mafonic Fra- 
ternity. But, like the lUuminati, they tagged to the fe- 
crets of Mafonry the ferret of drunkennefs and debauch- 
ery ; they had their Sifter Lodges, and at laft became 
rebels, fubvertersof the States where they were proieft* 
ed, till aiming at the dominion of all Ionia, they were at- 
tacked by the neighbouring States and difperfed. They 
^ere Illuminators too, and wanted to introduce the wor- 
ihip of Bacchus over the whole country, as appears in the 
account oj them given by Strabo. — Perhaps the Pytha- 
goreans had alfo forae fcientific fecrets j but they too 
were Illuminators, and thought it their duty to overfet 
the Stale, and were themfelvcs overfet. 

Nothing is fo dangerous as a myflic Aflfociation. The 
obje6l remaining a fecret in the hands of the managers, the 
reft fimply put a ring in their own nofss, by which they 
may be led about at pleafure ; and ftill panting after the 
fecret, they are the better pleafed the lefs they fee of 
their way.- A myftical obje-tl enables the leader to fhift 
his ground as. he pleafcs, and to accommodate himfclf to 
every current faihion or prejudice. This again gives 
him almoll unlimited power ; for he can make ufe of 
thefe prejudices to lead men by troops. Ke finds them 
already affociated by their prejudices, and waiting for a 
leader to concentrate their {Iren^rth and fct them in mo- 
tion. And when once great bodies of men arc fet in 
motion, with a creature of their fancy for a guide, even 
the engineer himfelf cannot fay, " Thus far {halt thou 
go, and no farther." 

VII. We may alfo gather from what we have feert, 
ihatall declamations on univerfal philanthropy are dan- 


gerous. Their natural and immediate efFeft on the 
mind is to increafe the difcontents of the unfortunate, 
and of thofe in the laborious ranks of life. No one, 
even of the Illuminators, will deny that thefe ranks muft 
be filled, if fociety exifts in any degree of cultivation 
whatever, and that there will always be a greater num- 
ber of men who have no farther profpeQ. Surely it is 
unkind to put fuch men continually in mind of a Hate in 
which they might be at their eafe; and it is unkindnefs 
unmixed, becaufe all the change that they will produce 
will be, that James will ferve John, v;ho formerly was 
the fervant of James. Such declamations naturally tend 
<o caufe men to make light of the obligations and duties 
of common patriotifm, becaufe thefe are reprefented as 
fubordinate and inferior to the greater and more noble 
affettion of univerfal benevolence. I do not pretend to 
fay that patriotifm is founded in a rationally-perceived 
pre-eminence or excellence of the fociety with which we 
are connected. But if it be a fatl that fociety will not 
advance unlefs its members take an intereft in it, and 
that human nature improves only in -fociety, furely this 
intereft fliould be cherilbed in every breaft. Perhaps 
national union arifes from national animofity ; — but they 
are plainly diftinguifhable, and union is not necelTarily 
produ&ive of injuftice. The fame arguments that have 
any force againft patriotifm are equally good againft the 
preference which natural inftinft gives parents for their 
children ; and furely no one can doubt of the propriety 
of maintaining this in its full force, fubjecl however to 
the precife lawsof juftice. 

But I am in the wrong to adduce paternal or filial af- 
fection in defence of patriotifm and loyalty, fmce even 
thofe natural inftin6;s are reprobated by the Illuminati^' 
ai hoftile to the all-comprehending philanthropy. Mr. 


de la Metherie fays, that among the memorials fent frora 
the clubs in England to the National Affembly, he read 
two (printed) in which the AlTenably was requeded to 
«{lablifli a community of wives, and to take childrea 
from their parents, and educate them for the nation. In 
full compliance with this dictate of univerfal philanthro- 
py, Weifliaupt would have murdered hi^ own child and 
his concubine — ajid Orleans voied the death of his near 

Indeed, of all the confequcnces of Illumination, the 
moft melancholy is this revolution which it feems to 
operate in the heart of man — this forcible facrifice of 
every aiFeftion of the heart to an ideal divinity, a mert 
creature of the imagination. — It feems a prodi':;;y, yet it 
is a matter of experience^ that the farther we advance, 
or vainly fuppofe that we dc^ advance, in the knowledge 
of our mental powers, the more are our moral feeling* 
flattened and done away. I remember reading, long 
ago, a differtation on the niirfing of infants by a French 
academician, Le Cointre of Verfailles. He indelicately 
fupports his theories by the cafe of his own fon, a weak 
puny infant, whom his mother was obliged to keep con- 
tinually applied to her bofom, fo that fixe rarely could 
get two hours of fleep during the time of fiickling him^ 
Mr. Le Cointre fays, that Ihe contraQed for this infant 
" une partialitc toiU-d-fait deraifonable." — Plato,, or So- 
crates, or Cicero, would probably have explained thi* 
by the habitual exercife of pity, a very endearing emo- 
tion. — But our Academician, better illuminated, folvcs 
it by ftimuli on the papillos^ and on the nerves of the: 
fliin, and by the meeting of the humifying aura, &c. and 
docs not feem to think that young Le Cointre was mucb 
indebted to his mothen It would amufe me to leara 
that this was the wretch Le Cointre, Major of the Nar 


tional Guards of VeiTailles, who countenanced and en- 
couraged the ihocking treafon and barbarity of thofe ruf- 
fians on the 5th and 6lh of October 1789. Complcti 
freezing of the heart would (I think) be the confequence 
of a theory which could perfectly explain the affetlions 
by vibratigns or cryftallizations. — Nay, any very per- 
fe6l theory of moral fentiments muft have fomething of 
this tendency. — Perhaps the ancient fyftems of moral 
philofophy, which were chiefiy fearchcs after the fum- 
muvi bonu77i, and fyllemsof moral duties, tended more 
to form and llrengthen the heart, and produce a worthy 
man, than the moft perfeQ: theory of modern times, 
which explains every phenomenon by means of a nice 
anatomy of our affetiions. 

So far therefore as we are really more illuminated, it 
may chance to give us an eafier vidory over the natural 
or inftinftive attachments of mankind, and make the fa- 
crihce to univerfal philanthropy lefs coflly to the heart. 
I do not however pretend to fay that this is really the 
cafe : but I thinkmyfelf fully warranted to fay, that in- 
crcafe of virtuous affeftions jn general has not been the 
fruit of modern Illumination. I will not again ficken 
the reader, by calling his attention to Weifliaupt and his 
affociates or fucceflbrs. But let us candidly contem- 
plate the world around us, and particularly the perpetu- 
al a-dvocates of univerfal philanthropy. What have been 
the general effefts of their continual declamations? Sure- 
ly very melancholy ; nor can it eafily be othenvife.-— • 
An ideal ftandard is cojitinually referred to. This is 
made gigantic, by being always fecn indiftinftly, as thro' 
a mift, or rather a fluttering air. In comparifon with 
this, every feeling that we have been accuilomed to re- 
fpetl vanifhes as infignificant ; and, adopting the Jefuiti- 
cal maxim, that "the great end fan^iifies every meanj" this 


fum of Cofmo-politicalt>^ood is made to cclipfe or cover 
all the prefent fevils whic\j muft be endured for it. The 
fafcl now is, that we are become fo familiarifed with enor- 
mities, fuch as brutality to the weaker fex, cruelty to 
old age, v/anton refinement on barbarity, that we now 
hear unmoved accounts of fcenes, from which, a few 
years ago, we would have fhrunk back with horror. 
With cold hearts, and a metaphyfical fcale, we mcafure 
the prefent miferies of our fellow-creatures, and com^ 
pare them with the accumulated miferies of former times, 
occafioned through a courfe of ages, and afcribed to the 
ambition of Princes. In this artificial manner are the 
atrocities of France extenuated ; and we flruggle, and 
partly fuccecd, in reafoning ourfelves out of all the feel- 
ings which link men together in fociety. — The ties of 
father, hufband, brother, friend — all are abandoned 
for an emotion which we muft even ftrive to excite — 
univerfal philanthropy. But this is fad perverfion of 
nature. " He that loveth not his brother whom he hath 
feen, how can he love God whom he hath not feen ? ' — ■ 
Still lefs can he love this ideal being, of which he labours 
to conjure up fome indiftinft and fleeting notion, , It is 
alfo highly abfurd ; for, in trying to colle6l the circum- 
ftances which conftitute the enjoyments of this Citizert 
of the World, we find ourfelves juft brought back to 
the very moral feeling's which we are wantonly throwing 
away. Weifliaupt allures us by the happinefs of the 
patriarchal life as the fumimim bonum of man. But if it 
is any thing more than eating and fleeping, and bullying 
with the neighbouring patriarchs, it muft connft in the 
domeftic and neighbourly affeftions, and every other 
agreeable moral feeling, all which are to be had in our 
prefent ftate in greater abundance. 

X X 


. But this is all a pretence; — the wicked corrupters of 
mankind have no fuch views of hum.^n fehcity, nor 
would they be contented with it; — they want to intrigue 
and to lead ; — and their patriarchal life anfwers the fame 
purpofe of tickling the fancy as the Arcadia of the po- 
ets. Horace fhows the frivolity of thefe declamations, 
>vithout formally enouncing the moral, in his pretty Ode, 

Beatns iUe qui procul negoflis. 

The ufurer^ after expatiating on this Arcadian felicity, 
hurries away to change, and puts his whole calli again 
out to ufury. 

Equally ineffeclive are the declamations of Cofmo- 
politifm on a mind filled with felfifh paffions ; — they juft 
ferve it for a fubterfuge. — The ties of ordinary life are 
broken in the firft place, and the Citizen of the World 
is a wolf of the defert. 

The unhappy confequence is, that the natural pro^ 
grefs of liberty is retarded. Had this ignis fatuus not 
appeared and mifled us, the improvements which true 
Illumination has really produced, the increafe in fcien- 
ces and arts, and the improvement in our eflimate of 
life and happinefs, would have continued to work fi- 
lently and gradually in all nations ; and thofe which are 
lefs fortunate in point of government would alfo have 
improved, bit by bit, without lofmg any fenfible portion 
of their prefent enjoyments in the poffeffion of riches, 
or honors, or power. Thofe pretenfions would gradu- 
ally have come to balance each other, and true liberty, 
fuch as Britons enjoy, might have taken place over all. 

Inflead of this, the inhabitants of every State are put 
into a fituation where eyery individual is alarmed and 


mjured by the fuccefs of another, becaufe all pre-emi- 
nence is criminal. Therefore there muft be perpetual 
jealoufy and ftruggle. Princes are now alarmed, fince 
they fee the aim of the' lower clafles, and they repent of 
their former liberal oonceflions. All parties maintain a 
fullen diftance and referve ; — the people become unruly, 
and the Sovereign hard-hearted ; fo that liberty, fuch as 
cajihc enjoyed in peace, is banifhed from the country. 

VIII. When we fee how eagerly the Illuminati en>. 
deavoured to infinuate their Brethren into all offices 
which gave them influence on the public mind, and par- 
ticularly into feminaries of education, we fhould be par- 
ticularly careful to prevent them, and ought to examine 
with anxious attention the manner of thinking of all who 
offer themfelves for teachers of youth. There is no 
part of the fecret correfpondence of Spartacus and his 
Affociates, in which we fee more varied and artful me- 
thods for fecuring pupils, than in his own condud rrf»- 
fpefting the ftudents in the Univerfity, and the injunc- 
tions he gives to others. There are two men, Socher 
and Drexl, who had the general infpeftion of the fchools 
ir\the Eleftorate. They are treated by Spartacus as 
perfons of the greateit confequence, and the infl:ru8;ions 
given them ftick at no kind of corruption, Weifhaupt 
is at pains, by circuitous and mean arts, to induce young 
gentlemen *to come under his care, and, to one whom he 
defcribes in another ktter as a little mafter who muit 
have much indulgence, he caufes it to be intimated, that 
in the quarters where he is to be lodged, lie wiM get the 
key of the ftreet-door, fo that he can admit whbm he 
will. In all this canvaffing he never quits the great ob- 
je8:, the forming the mind of the young man according 
to the principles of univerfal Liberty and Equality, and 
to gain this point, fcrnples not to flatter, and even igk 


excite his dangerous paffions. We may be certain, that 
the zeal of Cormo-politifm will operate in the fame way 
in other men, and we ought therefore to be folicitous to 
have all that are the inflrudors of youth, perfons of the 
m oft decent manners. No queftion but fobriety and 
hypocrify may inhabit the fame breaft. But its immedi^ 
ate effeft on the pupil is at leaft fafe, and it is always 
eafy for a fenfible parent to reprefent the reftri6lions laid 
on the pupil by fuch a man as the efFeds of uncommon 
anxiety for his fafety. Whereas there is no cure for the 
lax principles that may fteal upon the tender mind that 
is not early put on its guard. Weifhaupt undoubtedly 
thought that the principles of civil anarchy would be ea- 
lieft inculcated on minds that had already fhaken off the 
reftraints of Religion, and entered into habits of fenfual 
indulgence. We fhall be fafe if v/e trufthis judgment 

in this matter.-- ^We fhould be particularly obfervant 

of the character and principles of Men of Talents, who 
coffer tbemfelves for thefe offices, becaufe their influence 
muft be very great. Indeed this anxiety fhould extend 
to all offices which in any way give the holders any re- 
markable influence on the minds of confiderable num- 
bers. Such ffiould always be filled by men of immacu- 
late characters and approved principles ; and, in times 
like the prefent, where the moft effential queftions are 
the fubjefts of frequent difcuffion, we fliould always 
conuder with fome diftruft the men who are very cau- 
tious in declaring their opinions on thefe queftions. 

It is a great misfortune undoubtedly to feel ourfelves 
•in a frtuation which makes us damp the enjoyments of 
life with fo much fufpicion. But the hiftory of man- 
kind fhows us that many great revolutions have been 
produced by remote and apparently frivolous caufes. 
When things come to a height it is frequently impoffible 


to find a cure — at any rate mcdicinajcro parsiur^ and it 
is much better to prevent the difeafe — prinapiis objia^^ 
venierJi occurriic morho. 

. IX. Nor can it be faid that thefe are vain fears. We 
know that the enemy is working araoug us, and that 
there are many appearances in thele kingdoms which 
ftrongly referable the contrivance of this dangerous Af- 
fociation. We know diat before the Order of lllami* 
nati was broken up by the Elettor of Bavaria, there 
were feveral Lodges in Britain, and we may be certain 
that they are not all broken up. I kPiOvv that they are 
not, and that within thefe two yeai's fome Lodges v/ere 
rgnorantj or affetled to be fo, of the corrupted princi- 
ples and dangerous defign-s of the llluminati. The con- 
ftitution of the Order fliows that this may bo, for the 
X.odgcs themfelves were illuminated t?y degrees. But I 
TOuft remark that we can iiardly fappofe a Lodge to be 
eftablifhed in any place, unlels there be iome ve;y zeal- 
pus Brother at hand to inftruft and direB it. And I 
think that a perfon can hardly be advanced as far as die 
rank of Scotch Knight of the Order, and he a iafe man 
either for our cliurch or (late. I am very well infonaied 
that there are feveral thoufands of fubfcribing Brethren 
in London alone, and we can hardly doubt but that fna- 
jiy of that number are well advanced. Tiievocabularv aJdi) 
of the llluminati is current in certain facisti^s amx^ii^ us. 
Thefe focieties have taken the very name and conl^imti- 
on of the French and German focieties. CurreJpi; end- 
ing — Affiliated — Provincial — Refcript — Gonveation — • 
Reading Societies — Citizen of the World-— Liberty and 
Equality, the Imprefcriptible Right* of Man, &:c. &c. 
And mud it not be acknowledged that our ;p.ubJic arbi- 
ters oi literary merit have greatly changed their manner 
•of treatment of theological .aiid political wjiiings oi iaie 


years ? Till Paine's Age of Reafon appeared, the moft 
fceptical writings of England kept within the bounds of 
decency and of argument, and we have not, in the courfe 
of two centuries, one piece that fhould be compared 
"with many of the blackguard productions of the German 
prefl'es. Yet even thofe performances generally met 
Avith fharp reproof as well as judicious refutation. This- 
is a tribute of commendation to which my country is 
moll juftly entitled. In a former part of my life I was 
pretty converfant in writings of thislcind, and have feen 
almoft every Englifh performance of note. I cannot 
exprefs the furprife and difguft which I felt kt the num- 
ber and the grofs indecency of the German differtations 
•which have come in my way fince I began this little hif- 
tory — and many of the titles which I obferve in the Leip, 
zig catalogues are fuch as I think no Britiih writer would 
make ufe of. I am told that the licentioufnefs of the 
prefs has been equally remarkable in France, even be- 
fore the Revolution. — -May this fenfe of propriety and 
decency long continue to protetl us, and fupport the na- 
tional charafter for real good breeding, as our attain- 
ments in manly fcience have hitherto gained us the re- 
fpe6l of the furrounding nations. * 

I cannot help thinking that Britifh fentlment, or Bri- 
tifh delicacy, is changed ; for Paine's book is treated by 
moft of our Reviewers with an affefted liberality and 
candour^ and is laid before the public as quite new. 
matter, and a fair field for difcuffion — and it ftrikes The 
as if our critics were more careful to let no fault of his 
opponents pafs unnoticed than to expofe the futility and 
rudenefs of this indelicate writer. In the reviews of po- 
litical writings we fee few of thofe kind endeavours^ 
which real love for ourconftitutional government would 
induce a writer to employ in order to lefi'en the fretft^ 


difcontents of the people ; and there is frequently be- 
trayed a fatisfa£lion at finding adm^iniftration in ftraits, 
cither through mifcondu6l or misfortune. Real love for 
our country and its government would (I think) induce 
a perfon to mix with his criticifms fome fentiments of 
fygnpathy with the embaralTment of a minifter loaded with 
the bufinefs of a great nation, in a iituation never before 
experienced by any minifter. The critic would recoi- 
led that the minifter was a man, fubjeft to error, but. 
not neceflarily nor altogether bafe. But it feems to be 
an aflumed principle with fome of our political writers 
and reviewers that government muft always be in fault, 
and that every thing needs a reform. Such were the 
beginnings on the continent, and we cannot doubt but 
that attempts are made to influence the public mind in 
this country, in the very way that has been pratliied 
abroad, — Nay, 

X. The deteftable do6lrines of Illuminatifm have 
been openly preached among us. Has not Dr. Prieftly 
faid (I think in one of his letters on the Birmingham 
riots) " That if the condition of other nations be as- 
much improved as that of France will be by the change 
in her fyftem of government, the great crifis, dreadful 
as it may appear, will be a confummation devoutly to 
be wifhed for ; — and though calamitous to many, per- 
haps to many innocent perfons, will be eventually glo- 
rious and happy." — Is not this equivalent to Spartacus 
laying, " True — ^there will be a ftorm, a convulfion — 
but ail will be calm again ?" — Does Dr. Prieftly think 
that the Britifh will part more eafily than their neigh- 
bours in France with their property and honors, fecurcd 
by ages of peaceable pofieffion, protected by law, and 
acquiefced in by all who wifli and hope that their own 
defcendants may reap the fruits of their honeft induftry .? 


—"Will they make a lefs manly itruojgle ? — Are they 
lefs "numerous ? — Miift bi:s friends, his patrons, whom 
he has thanked, and praifcd, and flattered, yield up all 
peaceably, or fall in the general ftruggle ? This writer 
has already given the moH: proraifmg fpecimens of his 
own docility in the principles of lilurainatifm, and has 
already paifed through fcveral degrees of initiation. He 
has rcfmed and refined on Chriftianity, and boafts, like 
another Spartacus, that he has, at laft, hit on the true 
fecret. — Has he not been preparing the minds of liis 
readers for Atheifm by his theory of mind, and by his 
commentary on the unmeaning jargon of Dr. Hartley ? 
I call it unmeaning jargon, that I may avoid giving it a 
more appofite and difgraceful name. For, if intelligence 
and defign be nothing but a certain modification of the 
Tibratizmculce or undulations of any kind, what is fu- 
preme intelligence, but a more extenfive, and (perhaps' 
they will call it) refined undulation, pervading or mix- 
ing with all others ? Indeed it is in tliis very manner that 
the univerfal operation of intelligence is pretended to be 
explained. As any new or partial undulation may be 
fuperinduced on any other already exifting, and this 
without the leaft difturbance or confufion, [o may the 
inferior intelligences in the univerfe be only fuperinduc- 
tions on the operations of this fupreme intelligence which 
pervades them all. — And thus an undulation (of what ? 
furely of fomething prior to and independent of this mo- 
dification) is the caufe of all the beings in the univerfe, 
■rind of all the harmony and beauty that we obferve. — 
And this undulation is the obje6l of love, and gratitude, 
and confidence (that is, of other kinds of undulations.) 
Fortunately ail this has no meaning. — But furely, if any 
thing can tend to diminifh the force of our religious fen- 
timents, and make all Dr. Prieflly's diieoverie^- in Chriit- 
iajiity iiilignificant, this will do it. 


Wer6 it poITible for the departed foul of Newton to 
. feel pain, he would furely recolleft with regret that 
unhappy hour, when, provoked by Dr. Hooke's charge 
of plagiarifm, he firfl; threw out his whim of a vibrating 
aether, to fhow what might be made of an hypothefis. — 
For Sir Ifaac Newton muft be allowed to have paved 
the way for much of the atomical philofophy of the mo- 
derns. Newton's aether is affumed as sifac totum by eve- 
ry precipitate fciolift, who in defpite of logic, and in 
contradiftion to all the principles of mechanics, gives us 
theories of mufcular motion, of animal fenfation, and 
even of intelligence and volition, by the undulations of 
aetherial fluids. Not one of a hundred of thefe theorifts 
can go through the fundamental theorem of all this doc- 
trine, the 47th prop, of the 2d book of the Principia, 
and not one in a thoufand know that Newton's inveftiga- 
tion is inconcluhve. — Yet they talk of the effefts and 
modifications of thofe undulations as familiarly and con- 
fidently as if they could demonftrate the propofitiohs iri 
Euclid's Elements. 

Yetfuch is the reafoning that fatisfies Dr. Prieftly. But 
I do not fuppofe that he has yet attained his acme of Il- 
lumination. His genius has been cramped by Britifii 
prejudices. — Thefe need not fway his mind any longer. 
He is now in that " rard temporis (et loci) felicitate^ ubi 
fentire quce velis, et quce fentias dicere licet," — in the 
country which was honored by giving the world the firft 
avowed edition of the Age of Reafon, with the name of 
the {hop and publiiher. I make no doubt but that his 
mind will now take a higher flight — and we may expect 
to fee him fire " that train by which he boafled that he 
would blow up the religious eftablifliment of his {tijpid 
and enllaved native country. — Peace be withhiro. — But 


^-grieve rfiat he has left any of his friends and abettors 
among us.-^— A very eminent one faid in a company a few 
days ago, that " he would willingly wade to the knees 
in blood to overturn the eltabliiliment of the Kirk of 
jScotland." I u.nderftand that he propofes to go to In- 
dia, and there to preach Chriftianity to the natives. Let 
me befeech him to recollcftthat amon£[ us Chriftianitv is 
ftill conndered as the gofpel of peace, and that it itrong- 
}y dilTuades us from bathing our feet in ]?lood. 

I underftand that more apoftles of this million are 
avowed enemies of all religious eltablifliments, and in- 
deed of all eflablifliments of any kind. Rut, as I do 
not fee a greater chance of one paftor or one patriarch 
being in the right, either as to religious or political mat- 
ters, than a number of paflors or patriarchs, who have 
^onfulted together, and compared and accommodated 
their opinions ; and as I can find nothing but quarrels 
5ind ill-will among independents, I fhould be forry ta 
have any of our eilablifhments deftroyed, and am there- 
fore apprehenfive of fome danger from the zealous 
fpreading of fuch doBrines, efpecially as they make it 
equally nece-^ary to admit the preaching up no religion, 
and no civil eftabUfnment what-ever. 

Seeing that there are fuch grounds of apprehenfion^ 
I think that we have caufe to be on our guard, and that 
every man who has enjoyed the fwccts of Britiili liberty 
fliould be very anxious indeed to pveferve it. We 
fhould difcourage all fecret afiemblies, which afford op- 
portunities to the difaffeded, and all converfations which 
fofter any notions of political perfedion, and create 
hankerings after unattainable happinefs. Thefe only in- 
creafe the difcontents of the unfortunate, the idle, and the 
•^vorthlefs.^-' Above aUj 'we iii<Juld be careful to diicou- 


rage and check immorality and licentioufnefs in ever^ 
fiiape. For ihis will of itfelf fubvert every governmen^j 
and will fubje6t us to the vile tyranny of the mob. 

XI. If there has ever been a feafon in which it was 
proper to call upon the public inftruttors of the nation 
to exert themfelves in the caufe of Religion and of Vir- 
tue, it is furely the prefent. It appears from the tenor 
of the whole narration before the reader, that Religion 
«ind Virtue are confidered as the great obflacles to the 
completion of this plan for overturning t^e governments 
of Europe— and I hope that I have made it evident that 
thefe confpirators have prefuppofed that there is deeply 
rooted in the heart of man a fmcere veneration for unfo- 
phillicated Virtue, and an affectionate propenfity to 
Religion ; that is, to confider this "beautiful world as 
the production of wifdom and power, refiding in a Being 
different from the world itfelf, and the natural object of 
admiration and of love. — I do fiot fpeak of the truth of 
this principle at prefent, but only of its reality, as an 
impreffion on the heart of man. Thefe principles muft 
therefore be worked on — and they are acknovvledged to 
be ftrong, becaufe much art is employed to eradicate 
them, or to overwhelm them by other powerful agents. 
— -V/e alfo fee that Religion and Virtue are conhdered 
by thofe corrupters as clofely united, and. as mutually 
fupporting each other. This they admit as a fact, and 
labour to prove to be a miftake. — And laOly, they en- 
tertain no hopes of complete fuccefs till they have ex- 
ploded both. 

This being the cafe, I hope that I fhall be clear of .I'll 
charge of impropriety, when I addrefs our national irt- 
ftruBors, and earnertly defire them to confider tliis 
caufe as peculiarly theirs. The world has bwCn corrupi- 


ed under pretence of moral inftruBion. — Backwardnefs 
therefore, on their part, may do inconceivable harm, 
becaufe it will moft certainly be interpreted as an ac- 
knowledgment of defeat, and they will be accufed of in- 
difference and infincerity. — I know that a modefl man 
reluctantly comes forward with any thing that has the 
appearance of thinking himfelf wifer or better than his 
neighbours. But if all are fo bafhful, where will it end ? 
Muft we allow a parcel of worthlefs profligates, whom 
no man would truft with the management of the moft 
trifling concern, to pafs with the ignorant and indolent 
for teachers of true wifdom, and thus entice the whole 
"world into a trap. They have fucceeded with our un- 
fortunate neighbours on the continent, and, in Germa- 
ny (to their fiiame be it fpoken) they have been aflifted 
even by fome faitklefs clergymen. 

But I will hope better of my countrymen, and I think 
that our clergy have encouragement even from the na- 
tive character of Britons. National comparifons are in- 
deed ungraceful, and are rarely candid — but I think they 
may be indulged in this inftance. It is of his own coun- 
trymen that Voltaire fpeaks, when he fays, " that they 
refemble a mixed breed of the monkey and the tiger," 
animals that mix fun with mifchief, and that fport with 

the torments of their prey. They have indeed given 

the moft fliocking proofs of the juftnefs of his portrait. 
It is with a confiderable degree of national pride, there- 
fore, that I compare the behaviour of the French with 
that of the Britifli in a very fimilar fituation, during the 
civil wars and the ufurpation of CromM'ell. There have 
-been more numerous, and infinitely more atrocious, 
crimes committed in France diiring any one half year 
fmce the beginning of the Revolution, than during the 
whole of that tumultuous period* And it faould here- 


membered, that to all other grounds of difcontent was 
added no fmall fjiare of religious fanaticifm, a pafiioii 
(may I call it) which feldom fails to roufe ev^ry an^ry 

thought of the heart. Much may be hoped for from 

an earneft and judicious addrefs to that rich fund of 
manly kindnefs that is confpicuous in theBritiih charac- 
ter — a fund to which I am perfuaded we owe the excel- 
lence of our conltitutional government — No where elfe 
•in Europe are the claims of the different ranks in fociety 
fo generally and fo candidly admitted. All feel their 
force, and all allow them to others. Hence it happens 
that they are enjoyed in fo much peace — hence k hap- 
pens that the gentry live among the yeomen and farmers 
with fo eafy and familiar a fuperiority : 

Extrema per illos 

Jujllt'ia excedens terns vejligia fdcli. 

Our clergy are alfo well prepared for the taflc. For 
our anceftors differed exceedingly from the prefent Illu- 
minators in their notions, and have eiwcted that the 
-clergy fliall be well inftrufted in natural philofop'ny, 
judging that a knowledge of the fymmetry of nature, and 
■ the beautiful adjuftment of all her operations, would 
. produce a firm belief of a wifdom and power which is 
the fourcG of all this fair order, the Author and Con- 
• du6lor of all, and therefore the natural objecl of admi- 
ration and of love. A good heart is open to this impref- 

- fion, and feels no reluctance, but on the contrary a 

- pleafure, in thinking man the fubje8: of his goverment, 
and the objecl of his care. This point being «nce gain- 
ed, 1 fliould think that the falutary truths of Religion 
will be highly welcome. I fhould think that it will be 

. eafy to convince fuch minds, that in the midft of the 
iinmenfe variety of the works of God, there is one 
great plan to which every thing feems to refer, namely, 


the crouding this world, to the utmofl; degree of poffr- 
bility, with life, with beings that enjoy the things around 
them, each in its own degree and manner. Among 
thefe, man makes a moft confpicuous figure, and the 
maximum of his enjoyments feems a capital article in the 
■ways of Providence. — It will, I think, require little 
trouble to fliew that the natural diftates of Religion, or 
the immediate refults of the belief of God's moral go- 
vernment of the univerfe, coincide, in every circum- 
ftance of fentiment, difpofition, and condud, with thofe 
that are moft produ6live of enjoyment (on the whole) in 
focial hfe. The fame train of thought will Ihew, that 
the real improvements in the pleafures of fociety, are, in 
fact, improvements of man's rational nature, and fo ma- 
ny fteps toward thatperfeftion which our ownconfciences 
tell us we are capable of, and which Religion encoura- 
ges us to hope for in another ftate of being. And thus 
will " the ways of Wifdom appear to be ways of plea- 
fantnefs, and all her paths to be peace." 

Dwelling on fuch topics, there is no occafion for any 
political difculnon. This would be equally improper 
and hurtful. Such difcuffions never fail to produce ill- 
humour. — But (urely the highell "complacence muft re- 
fult from the thought that we are co-operating with ibe 
Author of all wifdom and goodnefs, and helping forward 
the favorite plans of his providence. Such a thought 
muil elevate the mind which thus recognifes a fort of al- 
liance with the Author of nature. — Our brethren in fo- 
ciety appear brethren indeed, heirs of the fame hopes, 
and travelling to the fame country. This will be a 
fort of moral patriotifm, and ihould, I think, produce 
mutual forbearance, fince we difcover imperfettions in 
all creatures, and are confcious of them in ourfelves— - 


notwithftanding which, we hope to be ail equal at hfl; in 
worth and in happinefs. 

I fhould gladly hope that I fiiall not be accufed of 
prefumption in this addrefs. There is no profcffion 
that I more fincerely refpecl than that of the religious 
and moral inftruBor of my country. I am faying no- 
.thing here that I am not accuftomed to urge at much 
greater length in the courfe of myprofeffional duty. 
And I do not think that I am juftly chargeable with va- 
nity, when I fuppofe that many years of delightful iludy 
of the works of God, have given me fomewhat more ac- 
quaintance with them, than is probably attained by thofe 
who never think of the matter, being continually engag- 
ed in the buftle of life. Should one of this defcriptioii 
•fay that all is fate or chance, and that " the fame thing 
happens to all," &c. as is but too common, I fiiould 
think that a prudent man will give fo much preference to 
my affertion, as at leail to think ferioufly about the thing, 
before he allow himfelf any indulgence in things which I 
affirm to be highly dangerous to his future peace and hap- 
pinefs. For this reafon I hope not to be accufed of going 
out of my line, nor hear any one fay, " Ne jutor ultra 
trepidam.'' The prefent is a feafon of anxiety, and it is 
the duty of every man to contribute his mite to the ge- 
neral good. 

It is in fome fuch hopes that I have written thefe pa- 
ges J and if they have any fuchefiPefl, I ilmll think my- 
felf fortunate in having by chance hit on fomethjng ufe- 
ful, when I was only trying to amufe myfeif dj^xing the 
tedious hours of bad health and confinement. No per- 
fon is more fenhbie of the many imperfections of this 
performance than royfelf. But, as I have no raotiv^e 
for Uie publication but the hopes of doing fome good, I 


truft that I fliall obtain a favorable acceptance of my en- 
deavours from an intelligent, a candid, and a good-na- 
tured public. I muft entreat that it be remembered that 
thefe fheets are not the work of an author determined to 
vrite a book. They were for the moft part notes, which 
I took from books I had borrowed, that I might occa- 
fionally have recourfe to them when occupied with Free 
Mafonry, the firft objeft of my curiofity. My curio- 
f]ty was diverted to many other things as I went along, 
and v.hen the Illuminati came in my way, I regretted 
the time I had thrown away on Free Mafonry. — But, 
obferving their connexion, I thought that I perceived 
the progrefs of one and the fame defign. This made me 
eager to find out any remains of Weifhaupt's AfTocia- 
tion. I was not furprifed when I faw marks of its in- 
terference in the French Revolution. — In hunting for 
clearer proofs I found out the German Union — and, in 
fine, the whole appeared to be one great and wicked pro- 
jetl, fermenting and working over all Europe. — Some 
highly refpefted friends encouraged me in the hope of 
doing fome fervice by laying my informations before the 
public, and faid that no time fhould be loft. — I there- 
fore fet about colleBing my fcattered fa6ls. — I under- 
took this taflv at a time when my official duty prelTed 
hard on me, and bad health made me very unfit for ftu- 
dy. — The eflefls of this muft appear in many faults, 
which I fee, without being able at prefent to amend 
them. I owe this apology to the public, and I truft 
that my good intentions will procure it acceptance.* 

* While the fneet commencing p. 354 was printing ofF, I got a 
fight o£a work publifhed in Paris laft year, entitled La Ccnjuration 
d' Orleans. It confinns all that I have faid refpeding the ufe made 
of the Free Mafon Lodges. — It gives a particular account of the 
formation of the Jacobin Club, by the Club Breton. This laft ap- 
pears to have been the Aflbciation formed with the afllftance of the 


TTothing would give me more fincere pleafure than to 
fee the whole proved to be a miltake ; — ^to be convinced 
that there is no fuch plot, and that we run no rifk of the 
contagion ; but that Britain will continue, by the abid- 
ing prevalence of honor, of virtue, and of true religion, 
to exhibit the faireft fpecimen of civil government that 
ever was feen on earth, and a national chara6ler and con- 
German Deputies. The Jacobin Club had feveral committees, fi- 
milar to thole of the National AfTembly. Among others, it had a 
Committee of Enquiry and Correfpondence, whofe bufmefs itwAs 
to gain partizans, to difcover enemies, to decide on the merits of 
the Brethren, and to form fimilar Clubs in other places. 

The author of the above-mentioned work writes as follows' (vol. 
3. p. 19.) We may judge of what the D. of Orleans could do in 
other places, by what he did during his ftay in England. During 
his flay in London, he gained over to his intereft Lord Stanhopa 
and Dr. Price, two of the ihofl: refpedtable members of the Revotu- 
tlon Society. This Society had no other objeft (it faid) but to fup- 
port the Revolution, • which had driven James II. from the throne 
of his anceftors. 

Orleans made of this aflbciation a true Jacobin Club — It enter- 
ed into correfpondence with tlie Committee of Enquiry of our Com- 
mune, with the fame Committee of our Jacobin Club, and at laft 
with our National Alfembly. It even fent to the Aflembly an of- 
tenfible letter, in which we may fee the foiiowing pafTages : 

*' The Society congratulates the National Aflembly of France 
on the Revolution which has taken place in that country. It can. 
not but earneftly wifh for the happy conclufion of fo imporcaat a 
Revolution, and, at the fame time, exprefs the extreme fadsfai-^ion 
which it feels in refledling on the glorious example ■'vhich France 
has given to the world." (The Reader will remark, that in this 
example are contained all the horrors which had been exhibited in, 
France before the month of March 1790; and that before this 
time, the conduft of the D. of Orleans on the 5th and 6th of Odo- 
ber 1789, vvith allthe Hiocking atrocities of thofedays, were fully 
known in England.) 

Z z 


du6l not unworthy of the ineftimable blelTings that we 
enjoy. Our excellent Sovereign, at his acceflion to 
the throne, declared to his Parliament that he gloried 


that all and each of his fubjeBs had entertained the fame 
lofty notions of this good fortune. Then would they 
have laboured, as he has done for near forty years, to 
fupport the honor of the Britifh name by fetting as 
bright an example of domeftic and of public virtue. — 
Then would Britons have been indeed the boaft of hu- 
manity — then we fhould have viewed thefe wicked plots 
of our neighbours with a fmile of contempt, and of fm- 
cere pity — and there would have beeri no need of this 
• imperfeO; but well-meant performance. 

- « The Society refolves unanlmoufly to invite all the people of 

. England to eftabllfti Societies through the kingdom, to fupport the 

principles of the Revolution (look back to p. 315. of this work) « to 

form correfpondences between themfelves, and by thefe means to 

eftablifli a great concerted Union of all the true Friends of Liberty." 

Accordingly (fays the French audior) this was executed, and 
Jacobin Clubs were eftablifhed in feveral cities of England, Scot- 
land, and Ireland. 


ALTHOUGH I faw no reafon to doubt oFthe vafi- 
lidity of the proofs which I have offered in the pre- 
ceding pages, of a confpiracy againft the deareft interefts 
of every nation of Europe, nor of the importance of the 
information to my own countrymen, it gives me great 
fatisfadion to learn that it has been received with favor 
and indulgence. This I may conclude from the impref- 
fion's being exhauded in a few days, and becaufe the 
publifher informs me that another edition is wanted im- 
mediately. I could have wifhed that this were defer- 
red for fome time, that I might have availed myfelf of 
the obfervations of others, and be enabled to correal the 
miftakes into which I have been led by my fcanty know- 
ledge of the German language, and the miftakes of the 
writers from whom I derived all my informations. I 
Ihould, in that cafe, have attempted to make the work 
more worthy of the public eye, by corretling many im- 
perfections, which the continual diftratlion of bad health, 
and' my hafte to bring it before the public, have occafi- 
Gned. I fliould have made the difpofition more natural 
and perfpicuous, and have lopped off fome redundances 
and repetitions. But the printer tells me, that this would 
greatly retard the publication, by changing the feries of 
the pages. At any rate, I am not at prefent in a condi- 
tion to engage in any work that requires difpatch. I 
muft yield therefore to thofe rcafons, and content myfelf 
ivith fuch correiB-ions as can be made immediately. 


I have found, after minute enquiry, that I was mifta- 
ken as to the expreffion of an eminent follower of Dr. 
Prieftly, mentioned before. The perfon alluded to dif- 
claims all fanguinary proceedings, and my information 
arofe from a very erroneous account which was circula- 
ted of the converfation. But I Hill thiak the caution 
equally neceffary, which I recommended to the hearers 
of the frequent and violent declamations made by thofe 
alluded to, againft all religious eltablifliments. 

Except the anecdote of Diderot's library, I do not 
recoiled another afTertion in the book, for which I have 
not the authority of printed evidence. This ftory was 
told me by fo many perfons of credit, who were on the 
fpot at the time, that I have no doubt of its truth. 

: I alfo find that I was miftaken in my conje6lure that 
Mr. Le Franc communicated his fafpicions of the horrid 
defigns of the Free Mafons to x^-rchbifhop Gobet. It 
inuft have been to Mr. Le Clerc de Juigne^ a moft wor- 
thy prelate, whom the hatred of the Jacobins obliged to 
ily into Switzerland. The Catholic clergy were butch- 
ered or banifhed, and the Jacobins fubRituted in their 
places fuch as would fecond their views. Gobet was 
worthy of their confidence, and the Archbijliop of Thou- 
loufe (Brienne) himfelf could not have fervcd the caui'e of 
the philofophifts more effe6tually, had they fucceeded in 
their attempts to get him continued Archbifiiop of Paris. 

As the poetical piBure of unqualified Liberty and 
Equality, and the indolent pleafures of the patriarchal 
life, are the charm by which the Illuminators hope jo 
fafcinate all hearts, and as they reprobate every con- 
ftruction of fociety which tolerates any permanent lu- 
bordination, and particularly fuch as found this fubor- 
dinatibn on diftintlions of ranks, and fcout all privile- 
. ges allowed to particular orders of men, I hope that it 
will not be thought foreign to the general purpofe of the 
foregoing Work, if, I with great deference, lay before 
the Rpader fome of my reafons for afferting, without 
befitatioij, in a former part, that the Britifh conilituiioii 


i's the only one tliat will give permanent happinefs to a 
great and luxurious nation, and is peculiarly calculated 
to give full exercile to the bed propeitiities of cultivat- 
ed minds. I am the more deiirous of doing this, bc- 
caufe it feems tome that moil of the political writers on 
the Continent, and many of my countrymen, have not 
attended to important circumilances which diitingiiifh 
our conftitution from the States General oF France and 
other countries. The republicans in France have, fince 
tthe Revolution, employed the pains in fearching their 
records, which ought to have been taken before the con- 
vocation of the States, -and which would probablv have 
prevented that ftep altogether. They have (hewn that 
the meetings of the States, if we except that in 1614 and 
1483, were uniformly occafions of mutual contefL^ be- 
tween the different Orders, in which the interefts of the 
nation and the authority of the Crown were equally for- 
gotten, and the kingdom was plunged into all the hor- 
rors of a rancorous civil war. Of this they give us d. 
remarkable inftance during the captivity of King John 
in 1355 and 1356, the horrors of which were hardly ex- 
ceeded by any thing that has happened in our days. 
They have fliewn the fame diiraal confequences of the 
affembly of the different Orders in Brabant; and ftill 
more remarkably in Sweden and Denmark, where they 
have frequently produced a revolution and change of 
government, all of which have terminated in the abfo'ute 
government, either of the Crown, or of one of the con- 
tending Orders. They laugh at the iimplicity of the 
Britifh for expefting that the permanent fruits of 053^ 
conftitution, which is founded on the fame jarring prin- 
ciples, fhall be any better i and affert, that the peacea- 
ble exercife of its fcvcral powers for fonxewhat iXiCve 
than a century (a thing never experienced by ur, in for- 
mer times) has proceeded from circamilances merely 
accidental. With much addrefs they have ielefcled the 
former difturbance?, and have connecled them by a for; 
of principle, i'o as to fupport their fyfteiu, '- ihst 2 
States General or Parliament, coniifting of a repretsn- 
tation of the different clafib.s of citizens, can nt^ver deJi- 
•berate for the geiveral good, but muft. always occupy 


their time in contentions about their mutual invafions 
of privilege, and will faddle every aid to the executive 
power, with fome unjuft and ruinous ago;randifement of 
the victorious Order." They have the effrontery to give 
the Magna Charta as an inftance of an ufurpation of 
the great feudatories, and have reprefented it in fuch a 
light as to make it the game of their writers and of the 
tribunes. — All this they have done in order to reconcile 
the minds of the few thinking men of the nation to the 
abolition of the different Orders of the State, and to their 
National Convention in the form of a chaotic mafs of 
Frenchmen, one and indivifible : 

Non bene junSarum difcordta feniina rerutriy 
Uhi frigida puegnabatit ealidisy hument'iaficctSy 
Mollia cum duris^ Jlae pondere habent'iapondus. 

Their reafonings would be juft, and their proofs from 
hiftory would be convincing, if their premifes were true; 
if the Britifli Parliament were really an affembly of three 
Orders, either perfonally, or by reprefentation, delibe- 
rating apart, each having a veto on the decifions of the 
other two. And I apprehend that moft of my country- 
men, who have not had occafion to canvafs the fubjeQ; 
with much attention, fuppofe this to be really the Bri- 
tifn Coiillitution : for, in the ordinary table converfa- 
tions on the fubjeft, they feldom go farther, and talk 
with great complacence of the balance of hoftile powers, 
of the King as the umpire of differences, and of the peace 
and prolperity that refults from the whole. 

But I cannot help thinking that this is a mifconcepti- 
on, almoft in every circumftance. I do not know any 
oppolite interefts in the State, except the general one of 
the governor and the governed, the king and the fub- 
je6l. — If there is an umpire in our conilitution, it is the 
houfe of Lords — but this is not as a reprefentation of 
the peri'ons of birth, but as a court of hereditary magif- 
t rates : the Peers do not meet to defend their own privi- 
leges as citizens, but either as the counfellors of the 
King, or as judges in the laft refon. The privileges for 


which we fee them fometimes contend, are not the pri- 
vileges of the high-born, of the great valfals of the 
Crown, but the privileges of the Houfe of Lords, of 
the fupreme Court of Judicature, or of the King's 
Council. In all the nations on the Continent, the dif- 
ferent Orders, as they are called, of t^ie State, are cor- 
porations, bodies politic, which have jurifdi8;ion within 
thcmfelves, and rights which they can maintain at their 
own hand, and privileges which mark them mod diftinft- 
ly, and produce fuch a complete feparation between the 
different Orders, that they can no more mix than oil 
and water. Yet the great preiident Montcfquieu fays, 
that the Peerage of England is a body of Nobility ; and 
he ufes the term body in the ftricl fenfe now mentioned^ 
as fynonomous to corporation. He has repeatedly ufed 
this term to denote the fecond order of Frenchmen, per- 
fons of noble birth, or ennobled (that is, veiled in the 
privileges and diitin£lions of the nobly born) united by 
law, and having authority to maintain their privileges. 
The hiftory of France, nay of our own country, (hows 
us that this body may enjoy all its diftinBions of nobi- 
lity, and that the Great Barons may enjoy the preroga- 
tives of their baronies, although the authority of the 
Crown is ahnoft annihilated. — We have no cogenj; rea- 
fon, therefore, for thinking that they will be conftantly 
careful to fupport the authority of^the Crown ; and much 
lefs to believe that they will, at the fame time, watch 
over the liberties of the people. In the eiefction af their 
reprefentatives (for the whole body of the gentlemen 
mull appear by reprefentation) we mufl not expetl that 
they will I'elecl fuch of their own number as will take 
care of thofe two eOenti?.! ^bjefts of our conltitution. — 
Equally jealous of the authority of the Crown and of the 
encroach inents of all Lhofe who are not gentlemen, Iknd 
even fearful of the alTampu.jns of the great Barons, the 
powerful individuals of their own order, they will always 
choofe fuch reprefentatives as will defend their own 
rights in the firll place. Such perfons are by no means 
fix for maintainmg the proper authority of the Crown, 
and keeping the reprefentatives of the lower claHes with- 
in proper boundi. 


But this is not the nature af our HoU'Te of Lords in 
the prefent day. It was lo formerly in a great raearure., 
and had the Ikme effctU as in other countries. Eut 
iince the Rcvohition, the Peers of^Gre^t Britain 
important privileges which relate merely or chiefly to 
birth. Thefe all refer to their fun6lions as Magillrates 
of the fupreme Court. The King can, at anytime, place 
in this Houfe any eminent perfon whom he thinks wor,- 
tby of the ofhce of hereditary magiftrate. The Peer* 
are noble — that is, remarkable, ilhiftrious ; hut are not 
neceifarily, nor in every inftance, perfons of high birth. 
This Houfe therefore is not, in any fort, the reprefenta. 
live of what is called in France the NobleiTe — a particu- 
lar caft of the nation;— nor is it a jun5lion of the proprie- 
tors of the great fees of the Crown, as fuch ; — for many, 
very many, of the grcateil baronies are in the hands of 
thole we call Commoners. — They ht a^the King's. Coun- 
celiors, or as. judges. — Therefore the members of ou,r 
Upper Koufe are not fwayed by the prejudices of any 
clafs of the citizens. They are hereditary magillrates, 
created by the Sovereign, for his council, to defend hjs 
prerogatives, to hold the balance between the throne and 
the people. The grcaleit part of the Nobility (in tHe 
continental fenfe of the word) are not called into this 
Houfe, but they may be members of the Lower Houfe, 
which we call the Commons ; nay the fons and the brp- 
ihers of die Peers are in the fame fituation. The Peers 
therefore caimot be hoftile or indifferent to the liberty, 
the rights, or the happinefs of the Commons, without 
being the enemies of their o-wn families. 

Nor is our Houfe of Commons at all fimilar to the 
Third EJiatc of any of the neighbouring kingdoms. 
Thev are not the reprefentatives of the ionobiv born, or 
of any clafs of citizens. The members are the proper 
reprefentatives of the whole nation, and^confift of per- 
fons of every clafs, perfons of the highcft birth,, peribns 
of great fortune, perfons of educationj of knowledge, of 


Thus the caufes of dififenfiori which refer to the dif- 
tinclive rights or prerogatives of the different clafies of 
citizens are removed, becaufe in each Houfe there are 
many individuals feleQed from all the claffes, 

A Peer, having attained the higheft honors of the 
flate, muft be an enemy to every revolution. Revolu- 
tion mufl; certainly degrade him, whether it places an sh-^ 
folute monarch, or a democratic junto, on the throne. 

The Sovereign naturally looks for tlie fupport of the 
Upper Houfe, and in every meafure agreeable to the 
conftitution, and to the piiblic weal, exerts his influence 
on the Houfe of Commons. Here the characler of the 
monarch and his choice of minifters muft appear, as in 
any other conftitution ; but v/ith much lefs chance of 
danger to political liberty. — The great engine of mo- 
narchy in Europe, has been the jarring privileges of the 
different Orders ; and the Sovereign, by fiding with one 
of them, obtained accefTions of prerogative and power. — • 
It was thus that, under the Houfe of Tudor, our con- 
ftitution advanced with hafty flrides to abfolute raonar^ 
chy ; and would have attained it, had James the Firft 
been as able as he was willing to fecure what he firmly 
believed to be the divine rights of his Crown. 

. I do not recoiled hearing the lower ranks of the State 
venting much of their difcoutents againil the Peers, and 
they feem to perceive pretty clearly the advantages arif- 
ing from their prerogatives. They feem to look up to 
them as the firft who will ,prote6l them againft the agents 
of fovereignty. They know that a man may rife from 
the lowefl flation to the peerage, and that in that exalta- 
tion he remains conne6led with themfelves by the dearefl 
ties ; and the Houfe of Commons take no offence at 
the creation of new Peers, becaufe their privileges as a 
Courts and their private rights, are not affefted by it* 
Accordingly, the Houfe has always oppofed every pro- 
jeB: of limiting the King's prerogative in this refpecl, 

3 A 


How unlike is all this to the conftitution confifting of 
the pure reprefentatives of the Privileged Orders of the 
Gontinental States. The felf-conceited conftitutional- 
ilts oi France faw fomething in the Britifli Parliament 
which did not fall in with their own hajly notions, and 
prided themfelves in not copying from us. This would 
have indicated great poverty of invention in a nation ac- 
euftomed to conhder itfelf as the teacher of mankind. 
The moft fenfible of them, however, wifhed to have a 
conftitution which they called an improvement of ours : 
and this was the fimple plan of a reprejentation of the two 
or three Orders of the State. Their Upper Houfe 
fhould contain the reprefentatives of ioo,coo noblefie. 
The Princes of the Blood and Great Barons fhould fit 
in it of their own right, and the reft by deputies. The 
Lower Houfe, or Tiers Etat, fliould confift of deputies 
from thofe ignobly born ; fuch as merchants, perfons in 
the lower offices of the law, artifans, peafants, and a 
fmall number of freeholders. Surely it needs no deep 
refledion to teach us what fort of deliberations would 
occupy fuch a houfe. It would be a moft ufefal occu- 
pation however, to perufe the hiftory of France, and of 
other nations, and lee what really did ocatpy the Tiers 
Etat thus conftrutted, and what were their proceedings, 
their decihons, and the fteps which they took to make 
them effectual. I have no doubt but that this ftudy 
would cure moft of our advocates for general eligibility, 
and for general fuffrage. I have lately read Velley and 
Villaret s Hiftory of France (by the bye, the Abbe Bar- 
ruel has fhev\^n that the Club d'Holbach managed the pub- 
lication of this Hiftory after the firft eight or ten vo- 
lumes, and flipped into it many things fuited to their im- 
pious projeft) and the accounts of the troublefome reigns 
of John, and Charles his fucceflbr, by authors who 
wrote long before the Revolution ; and they filled me 
with horror. The only inftance that I met with of any 
thing like moderation in the claims and difputes of the 
different Orders of their States General, and of patriot- 
ifm,^ or regard for the general interefts of the State, is in 
their meetings during the minority of Charles VIII, 


With refpe6i. to the limitations of the eligibility fnto 
ihe Houfe oF Commons, I thmk that there can be no 
doubt that thofe fliould be excluded whofe habits of 
needy and laborious life have precluded them from all 
opportunities of acquiring fome general views of politi- 
cal relations. Such perfons are totally unfit for delibe- 
rations, where general or comprehenfive views only are 
to be the fubjeds of difcullion ; they can have no con- 
ceptions of the fubje6l, and therefore no fteady notions 
.or opinions, but muft change them after every fpeaker, 
and muft become the dupes of every demagogue. 

But there, are other circumftances which make me 
think that, of all the clafTes of citizens, the land propri- 
etors are the fitteft for holding this important othce. I 
do not infer this from their having a more real connec- 
tion with the nation, and a ftronger intereft in its fate— 
I prefer them on account of their general habits of 
thought. Almoft all their ordinary tranfa6iions are fuch 
as make them acquainted with the interefts of others, 
caufe them to confider thofe in general points of view ; 
and, in ftiort, moft of their occupations are, in fome 
degree, national. They are accuftomed to fettle diffeF- 
ences between thofe of lower Nations — they are frequent- 
ly in the King's commiffion as Juftices of the Peace. 
All thefe circumftances make them much apter fcholars 
in that political knowledge, which is abfolutely neceffa- 
. ry for a member of the Houfe of Commons. But, be- 
fides this, I have no heiitation in faying that their turn 
of mind, their principles of conducl, are more general- 
ly fuch as become a Senator, than thofe of aiiy other 
clafs of men. This clafs includes almoft all men of fa- 
mily. I cannot help thinking that even what is called 
family pride is a fentiment in their favor. I am con- 
vinced that all our propenfities are ufeful in fociety, and 
that their bad effetts arife wholly from want of modera- 
tion in the indulgence of them, or foraetimcs from the 
impropriety of the occafion on which they are exerted. 
What propenlity is more general than the dchre of ac- 
quiring permanent conhderation for ourfelvcs and our 
families ? .Where is the man to be found ib meaurlpirit- 


ed as not to value himfelf for being born of creditable 
parents, and for creditable domeftic conne6tions ? Is 
this wrong becaufe it has been abufed ? So then is every 
pre-eminence of office ; and the direflors of republican 
JFrance are as criminal as her former Nobles. This pro- 
penhty of the human heart fhould no more be reje6led 
than the defire of power. It fhould be regulated — but 
it fhould certainly be made ufe of as one of the means 
of carrying on the national bufmefs. I think that we 
know fome of. its good effects— It incites to a certain 
propriety of conduft that is generally agreeable — its ho- 
neRy is embellifhed by a manner that makes it more 
plealing. There is fomething that we call the behaviour 
of a Gentleman that is immediately and uniformly un- 
derftood. The plaineil pcafant or labourer will fay of a 
man whom he efteems in a certain way, " He is a Gen- 
tleman, every bit of him"- — and he is perfe6lly under- 
flood by all who hear him to mean, not a rank in life, 
but a turn of mind, a tenor of conduft that is amiable 
and worthy, and the ground of confidence. — I rem.ark, 
■with fome feeling of patriotic pride, that thefe are phra- 
i^s almoft peculiar to our language — in Ruffia the words 
would have no meaning. But there, the Sovereign is a. 
defpot,and all but the Gentry are Haves ; and the Gen- 
try are at no pains to recommend their clafs hy mch a 
diftinclion, nor to give currency to fuch a phrafe. — I 
would infer from this peculiarity, that Britain is the hap- 
py land, where the wifeft ufe has been made of this uro- 
penlity of the human heart. 

If therefore there be a foundation for ibis peculiarity, 
the Gentry are proper objects of our choice for filiing 
the Houfe of Commons. 

If theoretical confiderations are of any value in quef, 
lions of political difculTion, I would fay, that we have 
good reafons for giving this clafs of citizens a great fhare 
in the public deliberations. Befides what I have alrea- 
dy noticed of their habits of confidering things in gene- 
ral points of view, ciud ihtii' feeling 2i clofer conne6li(?n 
vilh the nation than any other clafs, I would fay that 


the power and influence which naturally attach to their 
being called to offices of public truit, will probably be 
better lodged in their hands. If they are generally fe- 
letled for thefe offices, they come to coniider them as 
parts of their civil condition, as fituations natural to 
them. They will therefore exerciic this power and in- 
fluence with the moderation and calmnefs of habit — they 
are no novelties to them — they are not afraid of lofing 
them ; — therefore, when in oifice, they do not catch at 
the opportunities of exerciiing them. This, is the ordi- 
nary Condutt of men, and therefore is a ground of pro- 
bable reafoning. — In fhort, I fhould expetl from our 
Gentry fomewhat of generolity and candour, which 
would temper the commercial principle, which Teems to 
regulate the national tranfaftions of modern Europe, and 
whofe effects feem lefs friendly to the belt intereR of hu- 
manity, than even the Roman principle of glory. 

The Reader will now believe that I would not re- 
commend the filling the Houfe of Commons, with mer- 
chants, although they feem to be the natural Reprefenta- 
tives of the monied intereft of the nadon. But I do not 
v^ifh to co'nfider that Houfe as the Reprefcntative of 
any Orders whatever, or to diflurb its deliberations with 
any debates on their jarring interelfs. The man of pure- 
ly commercial notions difclaims all generolity — recom- 
mends honefty becaufe it is the befl policy — in Ihort, 
" places the value of a thing in as much money as 'twill; 
bring." I fhould watch die conduct of fuch men more 
narrowly than that of the Nobles. Indeed, the hilfory 
of- Parliament will fliow that the Gentry have not been 
the moll venal part of the Hou(e. The Illumination 
which now dazzles the world aims directly at multiply- 
ing the number of venal members, by filling the fenatej 
of Europe with men who may be bought at a low price. 
Minilterial corruption is the fruit of Liberty, and free- 
dom dawned in this nation in Queen Elizabeth's time, 
when her minifter bribed Wentworth. — A wife and free 
Legiflation will endeavour to make this as cxpenfive and 
troublefome as polfible, and therefore will neither adaiii; 
univerfal fuffrage nor a very e.xtenlive eligibility.— — ■ 


Thefe two circumllances,befides opening a wider door to 
corruption, tend to deftroy the very intention of all civil 
conftitutious. The great object in them is, to make a 
great number of people happy. Some men place their 
chief enjoyment in meafurmg their flrength with others, 
and love to be continually employed in canvaffing, in- 
triguing, and carrying on fome little pieces of a fort of 
public bufinefs ; to fuch men univerfal fuffrage and eli- 
gibility would be paradife — but it is to be hoped that 
the number of fuch is not very great : for this occupa- 
tion muft be accompanied by much difquiet among their 
neighbours, much diffenlion, and mutual offence andill- 
"vvill — and the peaceable, the indolent, the ftudious, and 
the half of the nation, the women, will be great fufferers 
by all this. In a nation poffeffing many of the comforts 
and pleafures of life, the happieft government is that 
which will leave the greateft number polfible totally un- 
occupied with national affairs, and at hdl liberty to en- 
joy all their domeftic and focial pleafures, and to do this 
with fecurity and permanency. Great limitations in the 
right of eleding feems therefore a circumftance neceflk- 
ry for this purpofe ; and limitations are equally necelfa- 
ry on the eligibility. When the offices of power and 
emolument are open to all, the fcrarjible becomes uni- 
verfal, and the nation is never at peace. The road to a 
feat in Parliament fhould be acceflible to all ; but it 
ihould be long, fo that many things, which all may in 
time obtain, fhall be rcquifitc for qualifying the candi- 
date. The road fliould alfo be fuch that all fliould be 
induced to walk in it, in the profecution of their or- 
dinary bufinefs ; and their admitiion into public offices 
fhould depend on the progrefs which they have made in 
the advancement of their own fortunes. Such regulati- 
ons would, I think, give the greateft chance of filling ihe 
offices with perfons fitteft for them, -by their talents, their 
experience, and their habits of thinking. Thefe habits, 
and the views of life which a man forms in confequence 
of his tituation, are of the utmoft importance. 

After all thefe obfervations, I mufl ftill recur to a 
pofition which I have repeated more than once, namely, 


tliat onr conflitution. \vhich nearly embraces all ihefe' 
eircumllances, has attained its prefent excellence chiefly 
in conlequenee of the innate worth of the Britifli charac- 
ter. About the time of the Conqueft, our conditulioii 
hardly differed from that of France. But the clafhmg 
of interefts between the different Orders of the fubjeds 
was not fo rancorous and obftinate — thefe Orders melt- 
ed mop" eafily together — the purity of the principle of 
Reprefentation in the States was lefs attended to ; and 
while the French Peers gradually left off minding amy 
buiinefs butt)ieir own, and left the High Court of Ju- 
dicature to the lawyers, and the Ring to his Cabinet 
Council, the Peers of Great Britain, overlooking their 
own lefs important diftinftions, attended more to the 
State, became a permanent Council to the Sovereign in 
the adminiftration and legiflation ; and, with a patriot- 
ifm and a patience that are unknown to the other Gran- 
dees of Europe, continued to hear and to judge in all 
queftions ofjuitice and property between the inferior ci- 
tizens of the State. Britifh Liberty is the highly-prized 
fruit of all this worthy conduft, and moft people afcribc 
it to the fuperior fpirit and independence of the national 
charafter. It ftrikes me, however, as more furely in- 
dicating fuperior virtue, and more judicious patriotifm ; 
and our happy conftitution is not more juOly entitled to 
the admiration and refpeft that is paid to it by all Eu- 
rope, than to the affectionate and grateful attachment of 
every true-hearted Briton. 

Since the publication of this volume I have feen a 
very remarkable work indeed, on the fame fubjeft. Me- 
moir t?, pour ftrvir a rHijloire du Jacobinifme, par M. 
i-Ahbe Barruel. This author confirms all thai 1 have 
faid of the Enlighteners, whom he very aptly calls Phi- 
lofophijls ; and of the abufes of Free Mafonry in France. 
He (hows, unqueilionably, that a formal and fyftema- 
tic confpiracy againfl Religion was formed and zealouf- 
ly profecrtted by Voltaire, d'Alembert, and Diderot, 
alhlted by Frederic II. King of Pruiha; and I fee that 
ibcir principles and their manner of procedure have beeni 
the fame with thofe of ilic German ath9ifts and auar- 


chilis. Like them they hired an Army of Writers 5 tliey 
induftrioufly puflied their writings into every houib and 
every cottage. Thofe writings were equally calculated 
for inflaming the fenfual appetites of men, and for 
perverting their judgments. They endeavoured to get 
the command of the Schools, particularly thofe for the 
lower clafTes ; and they erected and managed a prodi- 
gious number of Circulating Libraries and Reading So- 
cieties. M. Barruel fays, that this gang of public cor- 
ruptors have held their meetings for many years in the 
Hotel dc Holbach at Paris, and that Voltaire was their 
honorary I'rehdent. The moil eminent members were 
d^Alevihert^ Diderot, Condor cd^ La Harpe, Turgot, La- 
nrLoignon. They took the name of CE, c o n o m i s t s, and 
affeded to be continually occupied with plans for im- 
proving Commerce, Manufactures, Agriculture, Fi- 
nance, &c. and pubHfhcd from tune to time refpecl- 
able performances on thofe fuhjetls. But their darl- 
ing proje6l was to deftroy Chriftianity and all Reli- 
gion, and to bring about a total change of Govern- 
ment. They employed writers to compofe corrupt- 
ing and impious books — thefe were revifed by the So- 
ciety, and correfted till they fuited their purpofe. A 
number were printed in a handfome manner, to defray 
the expence ; and then a much greater number were 
printed in the cheapefl: form poffibic, and given for no- 
thing, or at very low prices, to hawkers and pedlars, 
with injuntlions to diftribute them fccrctly through the 
cities and villages. They even hired perfons to read 
them to conventicles of thofe who had not learned to 
read.* (See vol. i. 3-13— 355-) 

* The author makes an obfen^atlon which is as jufl: as it is 
aj^rceable. This atrocious gang folicited, with the moic anxious 
affidnity, the participation and patronage of the great ones of the 
■world, and boaft of feveral very exalted names: Frederic II. of 
Prufiia, whom they call the Solomon of the North, Catharine II- 
.Guftavus King of Svv'eden, the King of Denmark, &c. t^c. But irt 
the whole feries of their correfp on deuce there is not the Icaft trace 
rf any encouragement or any hopes from our excellent Sovereign 
George TIL Defpifmg the inccnfe offuch wTetches, and deteii- 
mT their ffience, he has truly merited the title cf Philofophtr, ty 


. I am particularly ftruck by a pofition of Abbe Bar- 
ruel, " That Irreligion and unqualijied Libei'ty and, 
Equality are the genuine and original Secrets of Free Ma- 
fonry, and the ultimatum of a regular progrefs through 
all its degrees " He fupports this remarkable pofition 
with great ingenuity, and many very pertinent i'atls. I 
confel's that now, when I have got this impreflion, I 
fliall find it very diificult to efface it. But I muft alfo 
fay, that this thought never ftruck me, during all the 
time that I have been occupied with it ; nor have I ever 
heard it expreffed by any Brother, except fuch as had 
been illuminated; and fuch Brethren always confidercd 
this as an innovation or improvement on genuine Britifli 
.Free Mafonry. I recollcQ:, indeed, that Nicholai, in 
bis account of the German Rofycrucians, fays, that the 
objett of Free Mafonry in England, lince the time of 
James II. is Toleration in Religiom Opinions^ as Roy- 
alijm had been the objed before that time. 

The account which the Abbe gives of the, Chevalerie 
du Soleil is very conformable to one of the three rituals 
in my pdileffion. His account of the Chevalerie de Roje 
Croix, and fome others, differs con fiderably from the fe 
in my box. I have reafon to think that my materials 
are tranfcripts from the rituals, &c. which Rofa intro- 
duced into the German Lodges, becaufe the writer of 
the greateft part of them is an inhabitant of that city. 

T think that the Abbe Barruel's account of this matter 
fuggefts a pleafing reflection. All the Brethren on the 
Continent agree in faying, that Free Mafonry was im- 
ported from Great Britain about the beginning of this 
century, and this in the form of a Myflical Society. It 
has been afliduoufly cultivated in Britain ever fiuce that 

iiaving done more far the real Illuminatioii cf the World, by the 
promotion of true Science, than Louis XIV. with his penfioned 
Academicir.ns, or than ail the prefent Sovereigns of Europe unit- 
ed ; and has uniformly difiinguifhed himfeif by his regard for true 
. Religion, and every thing that is venerable and iacred. This 
omiiilon is above all praife ! 




time, and I believe that the Fraternity is more numer- 
ous here, in proportion to the population of the coun- 
try, than in any other kingdom; yet in Britain the Bre- 
thren have never fufpefted that its principles were fedi- 
tious or atheiftical. While the Free Mafonry of the 
Continent was tricked up M'ith all the frippery of ftars 
and ribbands, or was perverted to the molt profligate and 
impious purpofes, and the Lodges hpcame feminaries of 
Foppery, of Sedition, and Impiety, it has retained in 
Britain its original form, fimple and unadorned, and the 
Lodges have remained the fcenes of innocent merriment, 
or meetings of Charity and Beneficence. As the good 
feme and Ibund judgments of Britons have preferved 
them from the abfurd follies of Tranfmutation, of Ghoft- 
tailing, and of Magic, fo their honeft hearts and their 
innate good difpohtions have made them deteft and re- 
ject the mad projeBs and impious doBrines of Cofmo- 
politesj Epicuriits, and Atheifts. 

fortunatos nimium, fuaji bona norint 
Anglicolas ! 

I have more confidence than ever in the fentiment 
■which I exprefled as an encouragement for our moral 
inftruBors ; and with greater earneftnefs do I call on 
them to refcue from corruption and impending ruin a 
nation fo highly deferving of their care. 

Mr. Barruel, in the eighteenth chapter of his work, has 
fuggefted fome refleBions, which highly merit attention, 
and greatly tend to efface the imprellion which is natur- 
ally made on the minds of the unthinking and precipi- 
tant, when they obferve fuch a lift of authors, whom 
they have been accuftomed to admire, all leagued againfl 
Religion. 1 think, however, that nothing can more ef- 
feBually remove it, than what I have already fhown of 
the vile and difgraceful tricks which thefe fophifts have 
been guilty of to fupport their caufe. The caufe of this 
numerous alfociation is diftinBly feen in their very pro- 
cedure. The very fi^rft ftep in their progrefs is depra- 
vation of manners* In this they have laboured with as 



imich earneftnefs as either Spartacus, or Minos, or 
Bahrdt. It was a treat to me to learn that La Clofe's 
abominable book Les Liafons D anger eufes^ was not 
merely pandering lor his patron Orleans, but alfo work- 
iw^ for his mafters at the Hotel d'Holbach. Nothing 
gives fuch certain bread to thofe authors, in the begin- 
ning of their career, as immoral and mipure writings ; — . 
and with fuch did even their chief fet out, and fill his 
pockets ; witnefs his Pu^elle d'Orleans ; and even after 
they became iht fages of France^ they continued, either 
from coarfe taile or from ferious principle, for the dia- 
bolical purpofe of inflaming the pallions of others, to in- 
terlard their graved performances with impure thoughts 
and fentiments. Nay, the fecret of the Hotel d'Holbach 
fliews us that, for any thing we know to the contrary, 
the vileft produtlions of their prefs may have been the 
compofitions of the odogenary Voltaire, of the fly d'A- 
lembert, or of the author of the Pere de Faviille. What 
a pity it is that the Decline of the Roman Empire Vvas not 
all written in England, and that its learned and elegant 
author, by going into their fociety, has allowed himfelf 
to be drawn into this muddy and degrading vortex ! 

I fliould fcarcely afls. for more to difguft me with the 
philofophy of thele fages, and to make me diflrud all 
their pretenlions to knowledge. The meannefs of the 
condud fuited the original poverty of the whole of them ; 
but its continuance Ibips them of all claims to the name 
of philofophers. Their pretended wifdom is only cun- 
ning — and we mull acknowledge that their condud was 
clever ; for this mean of corruption, concealed or em- 
belliflied by their talents for fentimental flang (I can 
give it no better name) made their conveifation and their 
writings mod acceptable to their noble patrons. — Now it 
is that Religion, of neceflity, comes on the field ; for 
Religion tells us, that thefe are mean pleafures for crea- 
tures born to our profpeds ; and Chrillianity tells us, 
that they are grofs tranlgrelfions o^ the only jiij'l morahly. 
The progrefs of the pupil will now be rapid ; for he will 
liflen with willing cars to leflons which flatter his paiii^ 
ons. Yet Voltaire thinks it neceffary to enliven the lef- 


fons by a little of ihefalaifon^ quelques bons mots d-pro- 
poa aiiprh de^femmes^ which he recommends to d'Alem- 
bert, who, it leems, was deficient in this kind of fmall 

Surely all this is very unlike to wifdom ; and when 
we fee that it is part of a plan, and this an obvious one, 
it fhould greatly lefTen our wonder at the number of 
thele admired infidels. If we would now proceed to 
examine their prelenfions to fcience, on which they 
found their claim to the name of philofophers, wemuft 
be careful to take the word in a fenfe that is unequivocal. 
Its true meaning is by no means what is commonly affign- 
ed to it, a lover of knowledge. It is a lover of wifdom ; 
and philofophy profefies to teach us what are the con- 
flituents of human felicity, and v;hat are the means of 
attaining it ; Vv'hat are our duties, and the general rules 
for Our conduft. The {loics were philofophers. The 
Chriftians are alfo philofophers. The Epicureans and 
the Sophifts of France would alfo be called philofophers. 
I have put in my objeQion to this claim already, and 
iieed not repeat my reafons for faying that their do8rines 
are not ditlates of wifdom. I fhall only add, that their 
own conduCl fliows plainly that their principles had no 
efFecl on therafelves, becaufe we fee, from the feries of 
corrcfpondence which Mr. Barruel has laid before us, 
that they do not fcruple to praftifevillanous and hypocri- 
tical tricks, which never fail to difgrace a man, and are 
totally irreconcileable with our notions of human digni- 
ty. Voltaire patiently took a caneing from an officer at 
Frankfort, for having wittily told lies of his fcholar Fre- 
deric, and his wifdom told him that his honor was clear- 
ed by offering to meet the Major, each of them provid- 
ed v/ith an injection fyringe. This was thought ibblimc 
v/itat Ferney. I do not fuppofe that the fiave Epi8e- 
tus, or tlie foldier Digby, would have ended the affair 
in this manner. Many of the deeds of wifdom of the 
club "d'Holbach v;ere more degrading than even this j 
and lam confident diat the whole of this phalanx of fagcs 
were CQnicio.ris that they were treated by their patrons 
and pupils as Voltaire was treated by the Solomon o-f 


tne North, and that their notions of the vraie fagefe . 
were alfo the fame with his. Pie gives this accoant of it 
in his letter to his niece : '* Le Roi lui avoit repondu ; 
' j'aurai befoin deVoltaire un an tout au plus — On preiTe 
1 orange, etDn jette I'ccorce.' Je me iuis fait repejcr ces 
douces paroles" — (How poor Voltaire would grin {) — • 
'- |e vpis bien qa'on a prelle Forange— il faut peniera 
fauver recorce." 

But, as things ftand at prefent, philofopher means a 
man of fcience, and in this fenfe of the v;ord our fages 
claim great refpetl. No claim can be worfe founded. 
It is amuiing to obfervc the earnellnef, with which they 
recommend the lludy of natural hiftory. One does not 
readily fee the connexion of this with their olleniible 
objett, the happinefs of man. A perufal of Voltaire's 
letters betrays the fecret. Many years ago he heard that 
feme obfervations on the formation of (trata, and the 
fbOils found in them, were incompatible with the age 
■which the Mofaic hiilory feems to affign to this globe. 
He mentions this with great exultation in fome of his 
early letters ; and, from that time forward, never ceaies 
to enjoin his colleagues to prefs the ftudy of natural hif- 
lory and cofmogony, and carefully to bring forward 
every faft which was hoftile to the Mofaic accounts. It 
became a ferious part of the exercifes of their wealthy 
pupils, and their perplexing difcoveries were moil oi- 
tcntatioiidy difplayed. M. de Luc, a very eininent na- 
turaliit, has fhewn, in a letter to the Chevalier Dr. Zim- 
mermann (publifhed, I think, about the year 1790) how 
very Icanty the knowledge of thcfe obfervers has been, 
and how precipitate have been their conciiifions, . For 
my own part, I think the affair is of little confequence. 
Mofes writes the hiilory, not of this <ilobe, but or the 
race of Adam. 

The fcience of thcfc philofopher: is rjot rerrisykable in 
other branches, if we except M. d'Aleoibert's ma'i.heix.2- 
tics.* Yet the nripohyig confide:nce of .Voltaire was 

■ * Never was tliere r.ny thing ir.ore co^itcrnot'-ble than tl;e phyfi- 
c*il and mechanical pciitions in Diderot's great vvork, the Sjiftems Jt; 


fuch, that he palTes for a perfon fully informed, and he 
pronounces on every fubjeft with ib much authoritVy 
with fuch a force of expreflion, and generally with fo 
much wit or pleafantry, that his hearers and readers are 
fafcinated, and foon convinced of what they wifh to be 

It is not by the wifdom nor by the profound know- 
ledge which thefe writers difplay, that they have acquir- 
ed celebrity, a fame which has been fo pernicious. It 
is by fine writing, by works addreffed to the imagina- 
tion and to the afletlions, by excellent dramas, by af- 
letting moral eflfays, full of expreffions of the greateft 
refped for virtue, the moil tender benevolence, and the 
higheft fentiments of honor and dignity. — By thefe means 
they fafcinate all readers ; they gain the efteem of the 
worthy, who imagine them linccre, and their pernicious 
doQrines are thus fpread abroad, and fteal into the minds 
of the diflblute, the licentious, and the unwary. 

But I am writing to Britons, who are confidered by 
our neighbours on the Continent as a nation of philofo- 
phers — to the countrymen of Bacon, of Locke, of New- 
ton — who are not to be wheedled like children, but mud 
be reafoned with as men. — Voltaire, who decides with- 
out hehtation on the chara8;er of the mofl; diftant na- 
tions in the mofl remote antiquity, did not know us : 
he came among us, in the beginning of his career, with 
the higheft expeftations of our fupport, and hoped to 
make his fortune by his Pucelle d'Orieans. It was re- 
jccled with difdain — but we publifhed his Henriade for 
him : and, notwithftanding his repeated difappointments 

la Nature (Barruel affirms, that he was the author, and got lOO pif- 
toles for the copy, from the perfon who related the ftory to him) 
that long ago found that Diderot had affifted Rnblnet to make a 
book out of his Mafonic Oi'ation which I mentioned in page 37. 
Robinet trufted to Diderot's knowledge in natural philofophy. But 
the Junto were afham.ed of the book De la Nature. Diderot feems 
to have, after this, read Dr, Hartley's book, and. has greatly refined 
en the crude fyftem of Robinet. But after all, the Syjleme de la Na- 
ture is contemptible, if it be confidered as pretending to what is re- 
ceived as fcienceby a mechanical philofophcr. 


of the fame kind, he durft not offend his countrymen by 
flandering us, but joined in the profound refpecl paid 
by all to Britifh fcience. — Our writers, whether On na-' 
tural or moral fcience, are fiill regarded as ftandard daf- 
fies, and are ftudied with care. Lord Verulara is ac- 
knowledged by every man of fcience to have given the 
firfl juft defcription of true philofophy, pointed out its, 
objeds, and afcertained its mode of procedure — And 
Newton is -equally allowed to have evinced the propn- 
ety of the Baconian precepts by his unequalled fuccefs, 
fud Mathejifacem preferente. — The moft celebrated phi - 
lofophers on the Continent are thofe who have complet- 
ed %y demonftration the wonderful guelTes of his pene- 
trating genius. Bailli, or Condorcet (I forget which) 
ftruck with the inconceivable reaches of^ Newtoiiis 
thoughts, breaks out, in the words of Lucretius, 

Tefequery magna gentls decus, inque tu'is nunc 
F'txa pedum pono prejjis vejligiajignis. 
Tu pater et 7-erum inventory tu patr'ia nobis 
Suppsditas precepta, tuifque ex inclute chartisj 
Floriferis ut apes infaltibus omtiia Ubanty 
Omnia nos iiidem depafcimur aurea diBa ; 
Aurea, perpetud fempsr dign'iffima vita. 

After fuch avowels of our capacity to inftrucl our- 
felves, fhall we (till fly to thofe difturbers of the world 
for our leffons ? No — Let us rally round our own Itand- 
ards — let us take the path pointed out by Bacon — let us 
follow the fteps of Newton — and, to conclude, let us fe- 
rioufly conhder a moft excellent advice by the higheft 
authority : 

" Beware of falfe prophets, who come to you in 
fheep's cloathing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves 


men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thirties ?" 


'. l^Vi